68ºF

STBTC struggles for donors amid blood shortage

“A big trauma or two traumas could wipe out our supply of blood”

San Antonio – The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is struggling to bring in donors as it tries to pull itself out of a blood shortage.

The center had 1.78 days worth of blood, as of Monday morning, compared to its goal of a three-day supply. When interviewed by KSAT Monday afternoon, STBTC Associate Medical Director Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul said STBTC had “about a one-day supply.”

Blood inventory for Sept. 14
Blood inventory for Sept. 14 (STBTC)

The low supply carries a danger for the community.

“Really one or two major events - like a big trauma or two traumas - could wipe out our supply of blood. And that really is going to put really tough decisions on the hospital in deciding who gets blood,” said STBTC Associate Medical Director Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul.

STBTC has been trying since Friday to get 500 donors per day in order to catch up on its shortage, which the center said is mostly due to a shortage of donors, though a higher need for blood has played a role.

Because of COVID-19, large blood drives at high schools and other community settings have not been possible.

“So last year around this time, we were having 200 blood drives a month, and this year, it’s 60,” Gomez Ngamsuntikul said.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, STBTC was still 393 donors short of its four-day, 2,000-donor goal.

STBTC Donations Sept. 14
STBTC Donations Sept. 14 (STBTC)

STBTC is looking for donations from all blood types -- especially type O. Donations are by appointment only, and donors can register on the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center website.


About the Author: