Coffee Memorial Blood Center in critical need of donations during COVID-19, Hurricane Laura

Amarillo’s blood donation center is having a hard time finding donors during COVID-19
Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With Hurricane Laura expected to approach the lower part of Texas in the next few days, the Amarillo community is doing what it can to help.

One of those ways is by donating blood, which has been hard to come by in the last few months.

“It’s having an impact nationwide with how many blood donations are coming in,” said Suzanne Talley, executive director at the Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

The Coffee Memorial Blood Center distributes blood products to 31 counties in the High Plains region and areas with recent emergencies.

Due to COVID-19 though, areas throughout the nation are low on blood.

This especially hurts areas with natural disasters that desperately need the blood.

“Blood is needed everyday. For a ruptured appendix, heart surgeries, cancer patients, premature babies in any community, when you combine that with weather, possible injuries that could occur, the fact that donors can’t get to the center, the center cant get to donors, all that creates a perfect storm if you will, no pun intended,” said Talley.

The center received about 125 units of blood a day before the pandemic.

During the last five months, they’ve struggled to reach that number.

Donors hope that people will donate more in this crucial time.

“I would hope that the emergency would encourage more people to donate right now just because its so much more crucial,” said Tony Astuto, a donor at the Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

“You never know when you’re gonna need it. If you’re ever in a major accident or a health issue, that blood saves your life, I mean what else can you say, bloods precious,” said Raymond Brawn, a donor at the Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

Talley says the lack of businesses and schools being open due to the pandemic has hurt them.

“It’s just more convenient when we can go visit the people and visit them at their work place. They can step away from their desk for an hour and donate and get right back to work,” said Talley.

70 percent of Coffee Memorial’s blood comes from mobile blood centers.

For further information on making an appointment to give blood, call (806) 331-8833.

Copyright 2020 KFDA. All rights reserved.