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Community Blood Center needs donors to help stop 'blood emergency' as the holiday approaches

Posted at 4:20 AM, Nov 25, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Community Blood Center is calling on the public to help stop what it calls a "critical blood shortage."

Beginning Monday, Nov. 25, the CBC is partnering with the Kansas City Chiefs to provide every donor with a free Chiefs t-shirt as part of its Chiefs Week. CBC will host dozens of blood drives around the metro.

"We're currently in the middle of a blood emergency," said Chelsey Smith, the outreach & communications coordinator for the Community Blood Center. "This isn't something that's new. We often go into blood emergencies during the holiday. Unfortunately, this one is probably a little more serious than past emergencies that we've had."

The CBC recently conducted a study, which found there are 21,000 less donors today than there were ten years ago.

Smith said there's no definite reason behind the drop, but one cause could be the difference in generations. She said the Baby Boomer generation was once the backbone of the blood industry.

"They're starting to age out, which means they're either going on medications that prevent them from being able to donate blood, they're getting sick or becoming blood recipients themselves or they're dying. Unfortunately, our younger generations are not replacing the donors that we're losing from the Baby Boomer generation," Smith said.

Nearly 600 donors are needed every weekday to meet the needs of hospitals, but the CBC has seen a drop in its number of overall donors, first-time donors and high school and college donors.

To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 115 pounds and be in good overall health.

The center hosts anywhere from 10-15 blood drives per day. They also have seven centers around the metro. To find one near you and register for an appointment, head to their website.