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Blood donors needed as supply runs low

Blood donations needed
Posted at 8:04 AM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 09:04:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blood donation centers are sounding the alarm on low blood supply and asking people to consider donating.

According to the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, they're facing a chronic blood shortage connected to the pandemic.

Spokesperson Chelsey Smith said the center currently has a five-day supply of blood compared to their average seven-day supply.

"Unfortunately, what we saw in 2020 was a pretty consistent blood shortage across all blood types, and that was simply because we didn't have donors coming in the door. Blood donation is essential. It's vital to our healthcare system, but it is a little scary to come out in the middle of a pandemic," Smith explained.

Smith said blood types B and O are most needed.

Joe Zydlo with the American Red Cross said type O blood is very important for hospitals.

"When there's a trauma situation, they have to reach for negative blood because they don't know blood donors' type. I mean they can check their identification; they might have a blood donor card that says I'm a positive or whatever, but you're always going to transfuse O negative because that can go to any person with any blood type," Zydlo explained.

As more people get vaccinated, Smith wants to remind people they can still give.

"There are absolutely no deferrals for donating if you receive Pfizer or Moderna, or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine right now. So, if you've received any of those, there's not a deferral for donating blood. You can come and donate blood the same day that you got the vaccine as long as you're feeling healthy and well," she said.

The Community Blood Center will team up with Starlight Theatre to hold a two-day blood drive, Monday, April 19, and Tuesday, April 20.

The drive will be held in Starlight's Applause Club on April 19 and April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are encouraged and can be made online and enter group code EG9Z.