BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital system is reporting a critically low supply of blood saying it has rarely, if ever, seen a supply so low.
Dr. Jeff Kerby, director of the division of trauma and acute care surgery at UAB, held an urgent media briefing Monday to plead with the community for help.
“I haven’t seen it this bad in 20 years of working at UAB as a trauma surgeon,” Kerby said. “That’s why the urgency to get the word out, this call for action out to the community to donate blood, all types are appreciated.”
UAB reported between 20 and 40 units of blood remaining. Kerby said the hospital is one bad trauma patient away from depleting its reserve. Typically, the hospital prefers to have at least 150 units in stock.
Kerby said it’s not unusual for a trauma patient with a bleeding issue to require between 20 to 30 units of blood. The shortage is impacting surgeries and could be depleted quickly in a mass casualty situation, according to UAB.