INDIANAPOLIS – (WTWO/WAWV) – Indiana is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations as communities throughout the state face a potential crisis.
“The current blood supply in the U.S. is critically low and most of the country’s blood centers are reporting a significant decline in blood collection,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical officer at Versiti. “In Indiana, the state’s blood supply has dropped to a critically low level, with less than a day’s supply of life-saving blood on shelves to supply Versiti’s more than 80 hospital partners throughout the state.”
Ideally, Versiti strives for a three-day supply of blood available to its partner hospitals. Schools and businesses are typically Versiti’s largest source of blood donations this time of year. Because of remote work and virtual schooling, many of those drives have been canceled. Compared to an average year, Versiti is down more than 50% in donations – or nearly 20,000 units of blood – from those key contributors.
Times are expected to get even more challenging in the coming months as COVID-19 continues to spike and flu season approaches. Blood donors are needed now to help ensure life-saving blood is available for Hoosiers who need it.
O-negative and O-positive blood donors are most needed now. O-negative and O-positive blood is the universal blood type, meaning donations can be transfused to all patients, including trauma victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.
Blood donations could also help those who are battling COVID-19.
“Right now, when anyone donates any blood product, the Red Cross is testing them to see if they have the COVID-19 antibodies,” stated Executive Director of the Southwest Red Cross Region for Indiana, Theo Boots. “So what this means is that Red Cross Blood Donors have a new opportunity now to help patients battling this corona virus.”
As the country braces for the flu season, and COVID-19 numbers increasing, a mix of both could cause problems for even more people.
“A severe flu season could create additional challenges to maintaining a sufficient blood supply for hospital patients in need,” explained Boots.
Hoosiers are needed to extend the generous gift of life to neighbors who need help and donate blood at a Versiti Blood Center of Indiana donor center nearest them:
Terre Haute: 2021 S. Third St.
Fishers: 11005 Allisonville Road
Indianapolis: 3450 N. Meridian St.
Lafayette: 2200 Elmwood Ave., Suite D-16
Carmel: 726 Adams St., Suite 150
Greenwood: 8739 U.S. 31 South
Other Terre Haute locations accepting blood include:
PlasmaCare at 1132 Locust St.
Octapharma at 115 Walnut.
Terre Haute Regional Hospital at 3901 S. 7th St.
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.