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Blood Banks Facing Critical Shortage

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Jun 2012 05:28pm | comments
Blood donation centers are facing an emergency shortage. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how blood banks are reaching out to Mississippi donors.
 
At the Mississippi Blood Services center in Flowood, Tony Bahou is showing off the blood storage cooler...and the units of blood normally covering the shelves are looking sparse.
 
"O+, B+, A+, and all these typically hold about 50 units. One lone O+ on the shelf right there. He doesn't have a lot of friends."
 
Bahou says Mississippi Blood Services is short about 14 hundred pints of blood. Other blood service organizations are reporting similar shortages. Considering a pint can save up to 3 lives, donation advocates have serious concerns. That's why they're calling on donors like Stacie Duncan of Madison. Duncan donates regularly because for her the issue hits close to home.
 
"I have friend that received blood over the weekend. I know the blood supply that needs to be replenished. Then I have another friend that has a child that has a chronic disease that has to have blood transfusions all the time...I just feel like I'm healthy, and I feel like this is something I can do to give back."
 
While donations typically drop off during the summer months, Bahou says this year has been abnormally low.
 
"They get busy. People are on vacation and they're not thinking about it. That's the biggest thing we hear is no one ever asked me to donate. I'm asking now because we really do need you."
 
Bahou estimates Mississippi is short about 45 hundred pints of blood...just in the month of June. The American Red Cross reports they're working with half the amount of available blood as they were this time last year. 

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