Jan 13, 2022 - News

Austin's blood bank seeks donations amid nationwide shortage

A photo of empty chairs at a blood bank
Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Central Texas, along with the rest of the country, is facing a blood supply shortage, and the area's blood bank, We Are Blood, is pleading for immediate donations.

Why it matters: COVID, winter storms, staffing challenges and more have disrupted the nation's blood supply. In recent weeks, blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than one day's worth of blood for certain blood types, according to the Red Cross.

Zoom in: For months, the Austin area has faced a "perfect storm" leading to blood shortages, said We Are Blood spokesperson Nick Canedo.

  • A population boom, holiday travel and the Omicron variant are among a variety of factors that have led to a significant decrease in local blood donations, Canedo said.
  • "We are experiencing a very, very dire blood donation shortage," Canedo added.

Appointments have recently increased as news of the shortage spreads, but Canedo said the shortages are part of a new normal.

  • "Commit to thinking about becoming a regular blood donor because that's how we'll build up this community supply to meet that need that's going to be just a new normal in our community for how much blood transfusions are required," Canedo said.

We Are Blood is the sole supplier of donations to more than 40 hospitals and clinics within Central Texas.

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