AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)— In a release from Coffee Memorial Blood Center, supply chain problems and failures have created new difficulties when it comes to donating blood.

One of the products that has affected the blood supply are plastic bags used to collect “double red cells,” which are a specialty blood drawing procedure that allows a single donor to provide two units in one sitting.

“Double red cell donations are a backbone of our collections, particularly with some of our most needed donors, like our O negatives,” said John Armitage, president and CEO of Coffee Memorial Blood Center. “When we don’t have the specialty bag sets we need to collect these units, we put our stewardship efforts and emergency response capabilities at risk.”

Summer donations rates have historically been low. The continuing pandemic and growing supply chain shortages have caused donations to decrease to record lows.

“Summer blood donation rates are always lower, but for us to now face a situation where we can have donors come to the drive and be unable to give their fullest and best gifts is both frustrating and disheartening,” Armitage said in the release. “We’re fighting with a hand tied behind our back, and our supply chain foul-ups aren’t likely to get better anytime soon. Broken manufacturing and delivery pipelines are never good, but in the blood world they put lives and patient care at risk.”

Coffee memorial is asking the community to give blood today. Appointments to donate can be made online at yourbloodinstitute.org or by calling 806-331-8833. Blood donation typically takes only about an hour, and one donation can save up to three lives.

For more information, visit the Coffee Memorial Blood Center Facebook Page