UAB Hospital joins blood centers in ‘desperate’ plea for donations

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Most blood supplies at hospitals are at less than 25% after a wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and officials say donations haven’t picked back up yet.

“Fall is typically a time when we see a rebound in the blood supply as donors become more available than they were in the busy summer months, but that rebound never happened for us,” Melanie Wooten of American Red Cross said.

According to UAB Medicine’s Jordan DeMoss, the low supply is already causing a change in patient care.

“We have had very limited resources to make sure that we can take care of the patients that are known to us or those that are scheduled to come to us, as well as those that walk in the door in our emergency departments,” DeMoss said.

Donation services like Red Cross and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers say there is a simple way you can help.

“We’re asking that if you’ve never attempted to give blood before, to please get out there and at least try. And if you’re able to, to please please. We desperately need you to come out and donate with us,” Cindy Peek of LifeSouth said.

All blood types from volunteers is not only welcome, but needed.

“O-positive is the most common blood type, and it’s also the one that 85 percent of patients can receive,” DeMoss said. “So as a Level I trauma center, we want to know that we have a stable supply of those products, because we do not often know the blood type of patients that walk in our doors.”

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