AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The entire country is facing the most critical blood shortage that it has ever seen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes the Coffee Memorial Blood Center right here in Amarillo which is facing its own challenges.
The center has been able to sustain with the limited numbers during the COVID-19, but with Governor’s Greg Abbott’s orders to slowly reopen Texas, that involves hospitals, blood donations are not increasing.
“Right now, every blood center across the country is experiencing the same challenge,” Coffee Memorial Blood Center Executive Director Suzanne Talley said. “The backup plans are off, so we want to make sure that the community knows the need, and we live in an area that when they know the need, they respond.”
The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is the exclusive provider for blood to 31 counties across the High Plains region. With the need for donations at such an urgent time because of COVID-19, Talley asked Texas State Senator Kel Seliger, and State Representatives John Smithee and Four Price to come show their support by shooting public service announcements that will run starting next week, to express the urgency of blood donations.
“Most of their collections come from mobile drives which they aren’t able to do right now,” District 87 State Representative Four Price said. “The need is really high, their donations are really low. So to know it’s safe and there are opportunities to come here and donate. We need to get that message out, and I’m happy to help in any way I can.”
District 86 State Representatives Smithee echoed Price’s comments.
“I think most people want to help and do their part,” Rep. Smithee said. “I think this will give people the opportunity to do that.”
State Sen. Seliger, the District 31 senator for this area, even did his part by donating.
“This ought to be considered as one of those things that is not elected,” State Sen. Seliger said. “This is absolutely necessary, and you notice in no rule anywhere have they closes a blood bank. The reason is proper precautions have been taken, so people need to come in and give that blood.”
Coffee Memorial Blood Center requires approximately 125 units of blood per day for area patients.
If anyone would like to set up an appointment to donate, contact the blood center at 806-331-8833.
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