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Donors needed amid severe blood shortage

Here’s how you can help

There is a desperate need for more blood and platelet donations right now across the country.
There is a desperate need for more blood and platelet donations right now across the country.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is a desperate need for more blood and platelet donations right now across the country.

Hundreds of blood donation centers have been struggling with collections throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s been really challenging over the last three months.

“There’s never a day when blood isn’t needed ever,” said Susan Forbes, with OneBlood.

That’s why more blood and platelet donations are vital.

The list of people in need is long.

“Cancer patients, premature babies, sickle cell patients, trauma patients,” Forbes said. “The list goes on about the amount of people who need blood on any given day.”

Forbes said OneBlood is meeting the demand.

But with schools being out, big events being canceled and people traveling on top of a pandemic, it is challenging to keep up with donations.

“It’s important that people make this a habit,” she said. “[They need to] continue to come in every time they’re eligible to be able to continue to meet the demand.”

Debbie Warren comes in to donate platelets every two months.

“We’re all human,” she said. “We need to give to each other.”

Her reason to donate dates back more than 40 years.

“I had a son who had leukemia he required platelets,” Warren said of her late 4-year-old son. “It’s definitely life-saving extended his life. So I continued.”

More people like Warren are wanted as hospitals are seeing a surge in trauma patients.

The biggest needs right now are Type O-positive and Type O-negative.

OneBlood said you can still donate even if you have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

One new thing the blood center is doing is each donor can track their blood donations. By visiting oneblood.org/journey, they can see when it arrives and who will get it.

The donations arrive to local hospitals within three to five days later. Donors never know whose life they can end up saving.

“It might be somebody that you know,” Warren said. “Every day people are in car accidents any surgeries employed as needed for those things.”

To see where you can donate, click here.

The American Red Cross also posted on social need about the critical need for blood donations amid the severe blood shortage.

The Red Cross said it needs more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to help meet the current demand and end the shortage.

Officials said you can donate blood, platelets and plasma after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you’re healthy and able, click here to make an appointment.

About the Authors:

Weekend morning reporter and multi-media journalist.

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.