Mayor Ron Nirenberg declares blood emergency in San Antonio, Bexar County

The shortage could result in postponed surgeries and delayed treatments

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a blood emergency in San Antonio, Bexar County and the surrounding areas, as the shortage is affecting patient care at local hospitals.

Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff spoke at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Donor Pavilion on Friday morning to urge people, especially the younger population, to donate blood if possible.

The mayor said the coronavirus pandemic has kept donors at home and donation drives at bay, but the need is still there. More than 1,000 drives were canceled in 2021, he said.

He added that the city’s growth has also resulted in a greater demand for blood.

“That demand will not stop when the pandemic ends,” he said. “Donating blood is a great way to help your neighbors and your community.”

Wolff added that young people need to “step up” and help “save a lot of lives.”

The shortage in blood supply amid the pandemic could result in postponed surgeries and delayed treatments. The shortage has caused hospitals to ration blood supplies and make “difficult decisions” on who gets transfusions, authorities said.

Dr. Joyce Schwartz, the blood bank director at Methodist Hospital System, said in her career, this is the worst blood shortage she’s experienced.

“It is a life or death situation,” she said.

To schedule a blood donation, click here.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.