Blood Donor Turnout Hits Historic Low, Worse Than During Pandemic
The Blood Connection, the community blood center, is seeing historically low blood donor turnout and has extended its center hours in response to this urgent need. According to the latest TBC data, local hospitals have consumed twice as much blood as the community has donated. If this trend continues, it could cause a blood rationing event or blood shortage for hospitals in this community. Donation centers are now open earlier and later to accommodate more blood donors.
Unexpected traumas are exacerbating the issue. TBC was recently alerted by one of its hospital partners that one patient needed more than 150 units in a short amount of time. This is a primary example that magnifies the importance of a stable blood supply and the suddenness of a trauma that can deplete the blood supply. Surprisingly, the blood supply is in an even more precarious position than it was at the beginning of the pandemic. As Easter weekend approaches, TBC was already expecting a drop in donations, which is common during any holiday.
TBC wants the public to know that those who have received any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines can donate blood immediately. TBC has also implemented a new COVID-19 antibody screening that will test each donor’s blood to see if it contains the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or antibodies from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. TBC’s prior antibody screening (which started before vaccines were released) only detected a donor’s natural response to the virus through exposure, whereas the new antibody screening will detect both.
Those willing to help and donate blood can find a location to donate in the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. TBC needs more than 800 blood donations per day to meet the needs of its local hospital partners.