AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Officials with the Coffee Memorial Blood Center have asked blood donors who may have canceled appointments due to this week’s winter weather to reschedule, as a lack of appointments and delayed blood drives have brought the area’s struggling blood supply to “critically low” levels.
Before Tuesday’s winter weather, according to the CMBC, a “significant number” of appointments were canceled. Although the center usually has a three- to five-day supply of blood available, officials said that the supply on Wednesday was “well below that level” and could impact hospital needs.
According to officials, CMBC needs 120 blood donations per day “to maintain an ample supply of blood for state hospitals.”
“January is always a difficult time as blood donations typically slow, and the winter weather is magnifying the problem,” said John Armitage, M.D., CMBC president and CEO, “Since the start of the year, blood donations are suffering substantially, and fewer people are donating. We need the public to step up and help secure their community blood supply.”
Officials noted that any healthy person above 16 years old is able to donate. Blood can be donated every 56 days, and platelets can be donated as often as every seven days, up to 24 times a year.
“Blood has no substitute,” Armitage said, “Patients across the state rely on blood products to fight cancer, survive trauma and heal after childbirth. Blood donation takes about an hour and can save up to three lives.”
Appointments to donate can be made online or by calling 877-340-8777. CMBC said that those who donate at the center on Wednesday and Thursday will be able to receive their choice of a winter hat, gloves or an ice scraper. Further, successful donors will also receive an alien-themed “Save the Humans” t-shirt.