LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The flu has hit the South Plains hard this season, and now it’s causing a blood shortage.
Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, says they’re now feeling the impact of the flu. They’re facing a blood shortage, with the lowest inventory they’ve had in recent history.
Carla Alexander is the Marketing & Communications Director for the South-Central Division of Vitalant: “We’re 20 percent, give or take, down at this time period compared to what we normally are. So that’s a huge number when you’re talking about bags of blood.”
For now, they’re still able to stock hospital shelves. “We’re able at this time to still maintain a supply but when we’re doing that, all it takes is one big thing to put us into an emergency situation. We’re not yet, but we’re trying really hard to not get there.”
Alexander says lower numbers are typical this time of year. “People are busy after the holidays they’re calming down and getting back into their routines so it's normally a little bit of a low spot but with the flu coming and going as fast as it is. And more people getting it- it’s really hitting us hard.”
Lubbock is in the south-central region. That region covers Lubbock, down to Brownsville, El Paso and all of New Mexico. “Some of our locations in the north we’ve had a little bit of snow and in Albuquerque, we’ve had a lot of drives canceled because people can't get to work and donors cant gets to the center.”
And now they need your help to restock the shelves. “If people are healthy and well and feel good, whether they ever donated before or not or it’s been a long time- now would be the time to come in and see us again and get that started.”
Sign up to donate blood, here.