Blood supply remains low following 4th of July holiday break
Monday, 30 July 2012 by Justin Cox
Blood supplies remain low as Central Texas hits the middle of summer, something the Scott & White Blood Center is facing in this region, and the American Red Cross is experiencing across the nation. The appeal for blood donations that was issued before the Fourth of July holiday continues. Supplies of some blood types at Scott & White are already so low a single, severe trauma case could drain the stock.
"We had anticipated that blood donations could be lower than usual, resulting in blood supply shortages. It is something we face almost every holiday, every year, and it is hitting us particularly hard right now," said Walter Linz, M.D., medical director of the Scott & White Blood Center.
The American Red Cross is reaching out across the nation in their media appeal with the goal of boosting donations during this period of typically low donations and high blood usage. The Scott & White Blood Center echoes the message, and is appealing to the Central Texas community for help.
The Red Cross serves as a back-up supply source to Scott & White. "So when they run low, as Central Texans, we have to do even more to help ourselves, and by extension, the entire national supply," said Dr. Linz.
"A trauma patient can easily use 60 pints of blood," said Ryan Perez, Blood Center manager. "In addition, it takes time for blood to be tested and adequately prepared for patient use. We need people to give blood before Friday. We need people to give blood now."
The blood donation center at Scott & White's main campus in Temple is open weekdays. The Scott & White Blood Center sends the bloodmobile donation van to blood drives at convenient locations throughout the region, in a different location each day. The calendar of blood drives on www.sw.org/blood-center/events helps donors find a drive that is close. Donors can also call toll-free, 877-724-HERO, to get specific dates and times.
Some upcoming blood drives this week include: Friday, July 20, 9:20 a.m. - 12 noon, Extraco Banks, 2000 N. Main St., Belton.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. Each donor must present a picture ID in order to be registered to donate. Blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, or hormone medication do not prevent someone from giving blood.
All donors will receive a free t-shirt, a coupon for a free medium-sized popcorn with the purchase of a movie ticket at Grand Avenue Theaters in Belton, a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card from The National Banks of Central Texas in Killeen, as well as a chance to win a free dinner for two at Cheeve's Brothers Steakhouse in Temple.
The Scott & White Blood Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 am. to 4 p.m. The center is located on the first floor of the main hospital in Temple, Room 115, across from the McLane Dining Room.
Donors can call with questions or to get additional information on mobile drive locations and hours by contacting the Scott & White Blood Center at (254) 724-HERO or (877) 724-HERO.