Humanity is in our blood …
The need for blood never ends, but the amount of blood needed for a stable blood supply can fluctuate; and during these uncertain times, the blood supply can fluctuate dramatically.
The available supply of most blood types is less than what is typically needed by local patients for just two days. For the blood types O-positive and O-negative, which are commonly used in emergencies, there is less than the supply required in one day.
Blood drives have been significantly affected by the pandemic. Social distancing and the resulting remote situations for businesses and high schools have been particularly disturbing. More than 3,000 blood drives have been canceled or postponed, resulting in a loss of more than 20,000 donors so far this year. Plus, 25% of our community’s blood supply is traditionally provided by high school students, and many donations were missed while schools were observing remote learning.
The community blood supply—locally and nationally—cannot seem to stabilize, which means there is not another community blood center from where we can request support. Two issues cause us the greatest concern:
– hospitals are increasing the number of surgeries they can perform due to Governor Abbott’s latest loosening of the restrictions previously placed on them
– there continues to be a shortage of blood drives taking place
In addition, the vast majority of those who even qualify to give blood do not give. Only 4% of all eligible donors give blood regularly. These community drives are one of the ways we educate and attract new donors and keep building a prepared community of blood donors. Without those donors or the opportunity to introduce blood donation as a civic responsibility for our future leaders the impact to our current and future blood supply is immeasurable
We are asking our communities in DFW, East Texas, and Central Texas to please find time to come in to one of our 25 community donor centers and help our area hospitals stay prepared for whatever the rest of 2020 brings.