Nationwide blood shortage reaches Amarillo, donors asked to help ’emergency low’ levels

Local News

UPDATE: Although Coffee Memorial Blood Drive saw a record number of donors at the Boots & Badges event, CMBC stated that its “still in serious need” of blood donors.

The organization explained that any help the public can give is appreciated. Donors can visit here to find locations, or call 806-331-8833.

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A nationwide blood shortage has reached the Texas panhandle, with blood donations reaching “emergency low” and reportedly worsened by consistently high hospital usage.

This, according to Coffee Memorial Blood Center (CMBC), has left blood centers around the nation short of all blood types heading into July. The local blood supply was noted on June 22 to be at a one-to-two day supply, when the usual security threshold was explained to be four-to-five.

“In the past month, we’ve seen a dramatic drop in blood donations, an alarming development when we were already facing chronic shortfalls,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Coffee Memorial Blood Center. “The public is rightly enjoying the reawakening of social freedoms and a return to normalcy, but if celebrating this rebirth by giving blood does not immediately become a major part of people’s reopening activities, we are going to run out of blood for patients. Harm may well result for many of the sickest folks in our communities.”

CMBC said that a critically low blood supply is “more dangerous than it has ever been” due to nationwide shortages drying up emergency safety nets given through sharing blood between centers. Blood has no substitute, warned CMBC, and patients rely on blood products every day to fight cancer, survive trauma, and heal after childbirth.

“If Texans don’t hear the call and regain their pre-pandemic levels of generosity, we’re facing serious damage to the transfusion care that our hospital partners normally provide,” Armitage said. “We keep thinking that COVID-related problems can’t get worse, but we now have the worst stock levels I have seen in my 26 years of blood banking. We need local residents to gear up into overdrive to carry us out of the sputtering pattern of repeated crises that is starting to emerge post-COVID. We’re pleading with our past, present and future donors to help now.”

CMBC described that blood donation takes around an hour, and can save up to three lives.

Donors can visit here to find locations, or call 806-331-8833.

Center hours have been extended due to the severe situation, according to CMBC. For June 22 through June 28, the donor center will be open:

  • Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

While COVID-19 vaccination is not required, CMBC said those who have been vaccinated can donate immediately if they are feeling well.

More information can be found here.

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