How a blood shortage is impacting Indiana and local communities

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — With June 14 being recognized as World Blood Donor Day, health officials say the need for blood donations is more vital than ever.

According to the Indiana Red Cross, red cell demand has seen an increase of 10% in 2021 and there is less than half a day supply of Type O blood.

“We have a severe blood shortage, I don’t think the blood shortage of last March was in the severe category. This is significant. We are asking the community to come out and donate blood,” Theo Boots, Executive Director for the Southwest Chapter with the Indiana Red Cross, said.

With many large mass blood donation sites being canceled last year due to COVID-19, Boots adds an increase in demand has other contributing factors, such as the continuation of elective surgeries.

Washington, Indiana native, Tara Brower, is currently battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia and has had some treatments impacted by the current blood shortage.

“Those blood transfusions are vital to my on-going treatment. I actually did have an instance back in January where I needed two units of blood and because of the blood shortage, only one was approved,” Brower said.

Brower said she has received over 40 blood transfusions, along with other forms of treatment.

“Our blood and so many others with healthy blood that are able to give it is such a blessing for others to do so for someone else. As a patient who receives that blood, there have been many times I have cried tears of joy,” Brower added. “It helps me feel good. That’s what blood means to me,”

Union Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Bolinger, said having adequate blood supplies is crucial to day to day operations.

“It is a blessing to be able to continue to treat the community the way they need to be treated and not have to postpone necessary surgeries,” Bolinger said.

To find when and where upcoming blood drives in Terre Haute and Vincennes are, clink on this link provided.

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