Blood Shortage Battle Continues

News

We have an update on the on-going blood supply crisis.

We learned on Friday that Indiana now has a full, one day supply of all blood types.

That slightly eases the concerns we told you about on Thursday.

People are starting to donate but they still need more.

Officials in Indianapolis report 300 donors signed up to give blood on Friday across Indiana.

That’s a good number, but still far below what’s needed.

A one day supply will not be sufficient if there is a major emergency requiring a large number of blood transfusions.

“That means that patients that need that blood, we don’t have it and we can’t give it. It creates a public health crisis when we can’t fulfill those orders,” said Amy Rose, Indiana Blood Center.

Dr. John Bolinger at Union Hospital keeps a close watch,  never knowing when the shortage could hit home.

“It hasn’t affected us at this point. Now it could if we all of the sudden require lots of units or there was a big motor vehicle accident or something. But we are in good shape right now,” said Dr. Bolinger.

He says that every year they anticipate the shortage around this time.

They closely monitor blood usage to make sure they only use what is needed.

“This is something that we do all year round, it is not something that only happens during the blood shortage. We do this all year round, we try to monitor this, to try to prevent having problems like this,” said Dr. Bolinger.

But he knows that just because they are in good shape now, doesn’t mean they will be down the road.

They have a plan in place in case the supply at union runs short.

“The next line of defense would be to call another hospital and see what their blood supply is to see if we could borrow blood from them then repay it. That would probably be the most common thing to do,” said Dr. Bolinger.

A summer blood shortage could be classified as an annual event.

And when it happens, communities come together. Not just in Terre Haute , but all over the state.

Dr. Bolinger says, “that is the way we would typically challenge this. The blood centers the hospitals will do more voluntary blood drives, they will get the message out to people. And usually there is a response to that.”

In efforts to combat the shortage Union Hospital is partnering with the Indiana Blood Center to hold a blood drive.

The information on the drive is as follows:

Blood drive:

Downtown clinic (221 s. 6th ST Terre Haute, IN)

Monday, July 17th

7:30am-10:30am

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