Blood donors sought as San Antonio hospital orders outpace donations

Health leaders address growing demand, impact of critically low blood supply

San Antonio hospital leaders held a press conference at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center Wednesday morning to address the need for blood donations.
San Antonio hospital leaders held a press conference at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center Wednesday morning to address the need for blood donations.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio hospital leaders held a press conference at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center Wednesday morning to address the need for blood donations.

“We need all types of blood. The surgeries are depended on blood. The trauma patients are. We see a lot of mothers that are delivering and their newborns need blood,” said Dr. Joyce Schwartz, Blood Bank Medical Director at Methodist Healthcare System.

The blood bank said it is unable to complete all the requests that they are getting from hospitals. It has seen a 2% rise in donations, but a 20% rise in the need from San Antonio area hospitals.

“In recent weeks, we have seen an increase of the utilization of blood as the COVID restrictions begin to wind down. People are feeling more comfortable coming into the hospital for their elective surgeries. So more donors are needed to make and to keep appointments to meet the current need of blood that is increasing,” Schwartz said.

Health officials are concerned with summer right around the corner, as they usually see less people donating blood.

“I had a young woman, mother of three, in horrifying car crash over the weekend whose life was saved because she got blood in the helicopter on the way to us and blood from us at our trauma center,” said Dr. Donald Jenkins, UT Health and University Health System Trauma Care.

Melodie Vise, a mother of two, shared how her life was saved by blood donations.

“I woke up one morning at home and realized I was having a miscarriage,” said Vise, who received a blood transfusion.

Vise said she lost a lot of blood and was rushed to the hospital.

“Whenever I began to receive that blood transfusion, I absolutely could literally feel life coming back into my body,” Vise said.

And while Vise will never meet her donor, she has a special message for them.

“I am forever grateful for that person,” Vise said.

To schedule a donation, visit SouthTexasBlood.org or call 210-731-5590. You can also call University Hospital’s donor center at 210-358-2812.


About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.