Health facilities and organizations experiencing with blood shortages

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Blood shortages are issues health facilities nationwide are experiencing.

The COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters that are happening all across the country are putting a strain on the already low blood supply at local hospitals.

All across the country hospitals and donation sites are suffering from a blood shortage.

The communications officer at West Tennessee Health Care speaks about the shortage and why people may be hesitant to become donors.

“We know because of COVID and because of the masking requirements and lots of other reasons people are scared to donate right now, but I can assure you it’s incredibly safe,” said Amy Garner, Communications Officer at the West Tennessee Health Care.

Garner also explains why the need is so great right now.

“We need blood we have patients that are very, very sick here in the hospital that is having surgeries and all types of other conditions, where blood is needed, and with donations being down it is critical that people consider giving blood,” said Garner.

The American Red Cross is another organization dealing with blood shortages.

The regional director of communications at Red Cross explains their need for blood.

“We are also in the middle of natural disaster season so to speak. We have hurricanes hitting, we have wildfires out in the west, so we are in need of making sure that blood is on the self when it is needed,” said Sherri McKinney, the Regional Dir. of Communications at American Red Cross-Tennessee region.

This non-profit organization says donors can give blood on a regular basis.

“You can donate whole blood every 56 days and blood does not have a shelf life, so it needs to be used constantly, so the donations need to be happening constantly,” said McKinney.

Red Cross also needs to add to their volunteer base.

They say they need health professionals, shelter volunteers, and disaster volunteers to join in their efforts so they can continue carrying out their mission of serving the American public.

To donate or to become a volunteer please, visit the American Red Cross website.

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