Blood Needs Still Critical

The supply of some blood types at Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo has reached an all time low this week.

Type B+ blood was in a state of emergency yesterday with nothing on the shelves. The blood status has been up graded to critical but there is still a great need for all type B and type O blood.

A higher than normal demand for blood and fewer than normal donors are why area hospitals need help.

President and CEO of the Coffee Memorial Blood Center Jim Rutledge says, "It's completely out of our control. So we can have a three to four day supply of something and in one day, in one evening it can go away."

And that is what happened this week in more than one case.

"Now we had a couple of situations a couple nights ago. One was B+ which would explain why we were at zero yesterday morning and the other one was an O+ patient," says Rutledge.

One out of every three patients that enter the hospital end up needing a blood transfusion.

First time Donor Mark Boynton says, "I have never had a transfusion but I probably needed one. I've been sewn up more than Frankenstein."

25 year old Candace Owens says when her husband needed a blood transfusion to treat his cancer the value of her donation hit home.

"I never thought someone as young as us would need blood the way they did and now I give every chance I get."

The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is especially encouraging new donors to replace those who are no longer able to donate.

To donate contact the Coffee Memorial Blood Center at 358-4563.