DALLAS – Blood banks across the country are calling for help. Many hospitals and organizations are seeing blood supplies drop to their lowest level in 30 years.
While many aspects of life have started to rebound from the pandemic, blood donation centers say they are still struggling.
Constance Parry is one of the few to donate blood at the Parkland Hospital blood drive on Thursday.
“If you have the capacity to give it saves a life and it could be your life someday,” she said.
Like many hospitals, Parkland faces a severe blood shortage that is forcing staff to make tough decisions.
“We had to postpone elective surgeries because there was an urgent need, someone in need needed this blood,” said Monique Barksdale of Parkland Hospital.
The American Red Cross is also facing serious shortages, offering Amazon gift cards for the rest of the month and a raffle for free gasoline for a year to encourage people to donate.
This month, Carter BloodCare is offering a buy and free offer on Rangers tickets.
Blood centers typically see donations drop in the summer with school and travel, but the effects of the pandemic have made things more difficult.
Linda Goelzer of Carter BloodCare says they started to see a downward trend about three months after the pandemic started and she has never really recovered.
“This is probably the lowest blood supply we have seen nationally in 30 years,” she said.
For now, they are able to follow orders from hospitals but have nothing in reserve.
“We urgently need donors because we were so far behind that we are still at the point where most of what happens comes out in a day or two,” Goelzer said.
Carter BloodCare is hoping that as in-person classes resume in the fall, they’ll get their high school blood drives back on track.
“High school blood drives make up about 25% or more of annual blood drives. So if you’re a teenager or youngster and don’t realize the power of life–except what you have, you don’t have to wait until school starts, ”Goelzer said.
Carter BloodCare has several blood donation centers across the metroplex that are open all week to donate. They are also having a big event at this weekend’s Battle of the Badges in Frisco.
Interested donors can make an appointment online at ww2.greatpartners.org/donor/schedules/centers or text 800-366-2834]