WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Blood donation centers are reporting a shortage of blood that hasn’t been seen in decades.
Both the Carter BloodCare Center and the Heart of Texas Red Cross say they are experiencing a blood shortage. Both organizations say as of Wednesday they had only 1-2 days worth of blood supply.
“We are at a 30 year low not just here in Central Texas but across the nation,” said Mike McCoy, a field recruiter for Carter BloodCare Central Texas.
The Heart of Texas Red Cross which serves Central Texas reports the same shortage. Both blood banks say although there is a shortage of all blood types, they are especially in need of type O blood since it is the type most used in emergency rooms.
The area blood banks say the disruption to routines caused by COVID-19 shutdowns is one of the reasons for the shortage.
Carter BloodCare said 25-35% of its blood donations are done at high schools and universities in Central Texas, so the closure of schools and the transition to virtual schooling reduced the number of donations.
Another reasoning they say is a misconception in the general public that a person cannot donate blood if they have had the COVID-19 virus or the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you’ve had the virus you are still able to donate,” said A.J. Renold, the Executive Director of the Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross.
People who have had the virus must wait 14 days after they recover with no covid-19 symptoms. People who have had the COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood the same day. Those who have not had the COVID-19 vaccine can also donate blood.
The area blood banks say as communities return back to normal, they encourage organizations to reach out to them to host blood drives.
The blood banks will bring the equipment and staffing to run the drives.
For those looking to donate blood, here are some blood drives happening across Central Texas:
Carter BloodCare Drives
Thursday, Sept. 30
4pm – 8pm
I Train U at Party City
Sunday, Oct 3
11am – 4pm
Temple Civic Theatre
Tuesday, Oct 5
10am – 4pm
Wednesday, Oct 6
2pm – 6pm
Springhill Suites by Marriott
Friday Oct 8
12pm – 6pm
Saturday, Oct. 9
9am – 2pm
For more drives in your community go to this website to find a blood drive near you.
Community can also donate at the donor center located at 206 Archway Drive in Woodway, Texas
Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday 8:00am to 2:00pm
Closed on Sundays
American Red Cross Heart of Texas blood drives:
Wed. Oct. 13
Hillsboro High School
1600 Abbott Avenue in Hillsboro, Texas
Saturday Oct. 16
Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints
300 Ritchie Road, Hewitt, Texas
Written by Rosemond Crown