Community Blood Center of the Ozarks impacted by national blood shortage, in critical need of donations

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is in critical need of blood donations, an ongoing concern since mid-June.

The shortage is due to multiple factors, including cancellations of over 500 blood drives due to the pandemic, an increase in the hesitancy to donate, and an increase in hospital usage, according to the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.

“We’ve lost over 500 blood drives, equaling over 17,000 blood donations. There are a lot of groups that have their employees still working from home and are not able to host their mobile blood drives like they did in the past,” said Kenda Burnham with the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.

Many people are concerned to donate if they have had COVID-19 or the vaccine. According to Burnham, you still can but need to follow specific protocols.

“If you had the vaccination, any of them, there is no difference and you can come in and give the same day get the vaccination. If you have had COVID you need to wait until two weeks after your positive test,” said Burnham.

Red blood cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers has climbed by 10% in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. The national shortage stems from a rise in the number of trauma cases and elective surgeries, according to a news release from the American Red Cross.

“A rise in the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries requiring blood products over recent months has depleted the nation’s blood inventory,” said the American Red Cross.

COVID-19 is another factor that is contributing to the national blood shortage according to the American Red Cross.

“There is great hospital demand for blood as patients who previously deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, therefore requiring increased blood transfusions,” said the American Red Cross.

Last week, CBCO issued an emergency appeal for all blood types. Leaders say hospital transfusions this summer are the highest levels since 2017.

“We continue to see blood reserve levels ebb and flow, but the situation right now is dire,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “Summer transfusion numbers are the highest we have seen in years, and when you combine that with lower than usual donation rates, it creates a very difficult situation. What we need right now is a dedicated donor response to give to our true local provider. Your friends and neighbors need your help right now.”

To find a blood drive coming to your area or to make an appointment to give, CLICK HERE.

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