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‘We aren’t safe yet’: Amarillo blood centers asking for donors due to low inventory

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 8:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 8:09 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Blood centers across the country are dealing with a blood crisis.

Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo says there isn’t a crisis in the area yet, but it is possible.

“We have been concerned about our numbers, a couple weeks ago, they were pretty low and were causing some concern, fortunately the donors have really been coming into the center at our mobile drives last week, so our numbers are steady right now, but we aren’t safe yet,” said Brad Duggan, executive director, Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

Duggan says some of the low numbers are due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, keeping donors out of the center.

He says once someone is symptom free they can come donate blood after 14 days.

In January, inventory also tends to be low, due to the holidays.

Duggan says for those who have never donated, now is the time.

“Once you get in the chair, a lot of times the needle in the arm is only about eight to 12 minutes and, so the needle in the arm time is really not that bad and you can save three lives by doing that,” said Duggan.

The blood center says the larger the donor base is the less likely to reach crisis level.

The need for blood is vital, as some need it to survive.

Texas Oncology says multiple areas of medicine need blood readily available such as, trauma and cancer patients.

“It is highly dependent on people donating and kind of our isolation being in the Panhandle we’re far away from back up blood supply, so its very important for our community to continue to provide blood for our patients that need it,” said Dr. J. Tucker Osteen, hematologist and medical oncologist, Texas Oncology.

Dr. Osteen encourages the community to continue giving.

For a calendar of upcoming blood drives, click here.

If you want to make an appointment, click here.

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