Blood Donors Needed: Critical Shortage - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/1/03

Blood Donors Needed: Critical Shortage

Summer time and the approaching holiday have created a critical shortage for the Lubbock blood supply. Now, officials at United Blood Services say in order to avoid a desperate situation, they need blood now.

Whether its convenient for you to donate blood or not the need is still there. And with the high volume of travel in the summer time, the need could be greater.

"Going into 4th of July weekend, its even more of a problem. Any holiday like this means we'll have a day where we don't do any draw at all because people will be in activities and yet the blood use will go on. So we really need to call on the public and help us bank up for 4th of July weekend and right after the weekend to help replenish what we use up," says Les Long, United Blood Services.

It seems like we always hear there is a critical need for blood, but its true. Right now they are at a dangerous level as a matter of fact they have less than a one day supply at UBS right now. "This is something that you don't do for strangers, you might very well being doing it for your neighbor, your own child, or it could very well be you end up in an accident and your donating for yourself. But its something that we all need to be sure is there and available," says Long.

The hospitals in this area use about 110 units of blood a day, which means UBS needs to bring at least that many in. "This helps a lot of families have their kids, keep their parents, help their loved ones. You can't buy blood, you can't buy platelets, it has to come from the heart," said Judy Franks, a regular donor.

On a related note: starting on July 1st, all blood donations will be routinely screened for the West Nile Virus. Not only is this considered a health precaution, but officials hope this test will instill confidence in the entire donation process.

Here's another incentive, those who donate blood this week will get an all American hero's t-shirt and get to register for a family fun pack, with passes to Joyland, Texas Water Rampage and dinner.

UBS is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. There will also be a mobile donor bank at Lowes home improvement Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7p.m.

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