The Hendrick Medical Center is running low on O-negative blood.
“Right now we are trying to get caught up with our O-negative blood,” donor recruiter Frances Baker said. “Because of the weather, we have had to cancel several blood donations. Right now, I would say all of our blood supplies are marginal.”
With the weather set to get better as the week goes on, Hendrick and other hospitals in the area are counting on the recent blood drive to help them restock their blood supplies.
“We have blood drives scheduled already, all the way through March,” Baker said. “We are always in need of blood, so [today’s] blood drive will be important for us. We are always looking for more donors and more people willing to give blood. We are hoping to get one hundred more units [today], which could save two hundred lives. Each blood donation is separated into white blood cells and plasma, so each donation can save two lives.”
Being low on blood creates several problems within the hospital that can be difficult to solve.
“O-negative blood is the universal donor so being short on that type of blood can impact lots of people needing blood,” Hendrick nurse Megan Gwin said.
The need for blood is constant in the Abilene area, so it is difficult to get ahead and have enough blood to stop pushing donations.
“We try and make sure we always have a bloodmobile running,” Baker said. “We are also very dependent on colleges and universities in our area in order to get the blood we need.”
Baker is the donor recruiter for Hendrick hospital and 16 other hospitals in the area.
With several colleges in the Abilene area, colleges hope that students will step up and help them handle the shortage by giving their time and blood.
“A lot of college students are not in a position to help with charities because they are not financially able,” Baker said. “But donating blood does not cost anything and it only takes 45 minutes. Students can donate blood six times a year, and by taking their time to give blood, they are giving someone else more time.”