Blood supply ‘critically low’ in what South Texas Blood and Tissue Center calls ‘disturbing trend’

500 donations needed a day to maintain supply

The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations to help fulfill an increase in need caused by the pandemic.
The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations to help fulfill an increase in need caused by the pandemic. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is urging people to donate blood as it is seeing a “severe” shortage amid an “extremely urgent” demand.

Adrienne Mendoza, the vice president of Blood Operations at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, said the need for blood during the coronavirus pandemic has strained the supply, “putting our community at risk.”

About 500 donations are needed a day to keep up with the demand.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, about 480 donations were made total, according to the center. On those days, more than 1,000 units were donated to San Antonio hospitals.

“It’s a disturbing trend that shows no signs of changing,” the center said in a news release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed a secondary national health emergency – a dramatic blood shortage for patients from coast to coast.”

Mendoza said the demand increased by 35% in January.

In an effort to attract more donors, hours at the donor rooms at Shavano Park and the Donor Pavilion on Interstate 10 will be extended on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Appointments can be made by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org or by calling 210-731-5590.

Those who donate in February will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and points to redeem gift cards or other items. A voucher for a smoothie at Smoothie King will be given to donors on Sundays.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.