UAB, Red Cross, LifeSouth Blood Centers in ‘desperate need’ of blood donations

Health

The nation’s blood shortages, a result of increased trauma cases, transplants and elective surgeries amid the pandemic, have put stress on hospitals across the country. (Getty Images)

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Friday, UAB Hospital, American Red Cross and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers announced they are “in desperate need” of donors.

UAB hospital officials report that they’re seeing critically low levels of blood they haven’t seen in nearly 20 years, starting each day at about 25% of the their supply of O+ products.

The public can help the cause by donating blood at local blood banks like Red Cross or LifeSouth Community Blood Center. According to all three organizations, there is no need to delay blood donation after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to UAB Hospital. Red Cross and LifeSouth, there is no need to delay blood donation after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

“We’re in desperate need of your help,” Dr. Melanie Wooten with the American Red Cross said. “Blood cannot be manufactured or stock piled and is only available for the patients who need it through the kindness and generosity of our volunteer blood donors”

According to LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, they have less than a day’s supply of some blood types. Both Red Cross and LifeSouth said the Fall is often a time when they see a rebound in blood donors, but neither have seen that rebound this year. Those low donor levels have affected patient care at UAB.

“We did have to delay some of our surgeries to conserve products in preparation for the traumas that we’ve seen,” Vice President of Clinical Operations at UAB Hospital, Jordan DeMoss said.

Coupled with increased traumas, DeMoss said, the low donor turnout has caused some concern around the hospital.

You can help stock local hospitals with blood by donating at either LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and The American Red Cross.

“We’ve seen an increase in traumas, over 20% over the past year,” he said. “So the need is even greater than what it was a year ago and almost 30% greater than two years ago so we have to be prepared.”

To help hospitals meet demand and need, they’re pleading with the community to donate blood.

“We’re asking you to help us and partner with LifeSouth and the American Red Cross to get as many blood donations as possible to help us ensure our patients have the resources our patients need.

The public can help stock local hospitals with blood by donating at either LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and The American Red Cross. Use the links above to book an appointment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.