Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blood Shortage in Kansas City Area

As first responders in the greater Kansas City area, we see first-hand how critical it is to have an adequate blood supply available in case of emergencies. A press release sent out yesterday by the Community Blood Center (CBC) indicates the blood supply is nearing "critical levels" and they need our help to bring the numbers back up.

“We started to see a decline in late-December and haven’t recovered. The lack of donations over the past few weeks has put the blood supply in an extremely critical state. We actually have less than a half-day supply on our shelves.” said Patsy Shipley Vice President, Donor and Hospital Services.

CBC and other blood centers around the country are experiencing similar shortages due to inclement weather conditions and the flu bug that have kept people at home and away from school and work. Organizations like Community Blood Center need their communities to help with this critical need for the hospitals and patients they serve. In other U.S. cities, the shortage of blood has caused surgeries to be delayed or cancelled. 

“We are asking all eligible blood donors to visit any one of our Donation Centers or community blood drives and bring a friend or family member with them. Every single donation will help at least two hospital patients who rely on life-saving blood.” stated Shipley.

Donors can find a community blood drive by visiting the organization’s web site and clicking the “Schedule an Appointment” icon. Donors are also encouraged to visit one of CBC’s five Neighborhood Donation Centers.

Shipley reiterated, "An adequate blood supply is essential to the health of any community. Therefore, we are asking all eligible donors to help replenish the blood supply by taking just an hour from their day to make that life-saving donation.”

Eligible donors must be at least 16 years of age, weigh a minimum of 115 pounds and be in good health.

Maintaining a regular supply of blood is not easy as the components in blood have a very short shelf life and predicting the demand can often be difficult. By giving blood, every donor is contributing to a nation-wide challenge to provide life-saving products when they're needed.