LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Several days after the American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage, The Arkansas Blood Institute says they are in need of more donations as they try to prevent the effects of the shortage.
Lorelei Ross says she was diagnosed with Hodkin’s Lymphoma in 2012, receiving treatment for two years before she entered remission. Ross says being a blood recipient helped save her life.
“The future I still have is because of blood donors.” Ross said. “Even after I was in remission, I needed some blood products.”
After Ross survived cancer, she and the Executive Director of The Arkansas Blood Institute Carvin Brown Jr. are urging people to give blood.
Especially, after a national blood shortage was declared by the American Red Cross after officials say blood supply reached “critically low level.”
Brown says the Institute serves all of central Arkansas with over 40 hospitals, although he says they’re managing all of their blood supply for now, he says if things continue down a downward spiral it could lead to major issues.
“I would say that it is only a matter of time if we don’t change course that we will end up in an up and down State of Appeal,” Brown stated, “It is very fragile right now a line between comfortably servicing our patients and the appeal.”
Brown says he believes a lot of problems people are seeing now with blood supply the pandemic is partly to blame.
“A lot of people were working remotely, and businesses act a little bit differently about people coming in to donate blood,” Brown said.
He says they require 1200 donations a day to keep up with demand and if they drop in donations sufficiently it could lead to problems with those they serve.
“When it slows down, it slows down the speed of care and when you get into health care the first thing that you’re taught is speed equals life,” Brown said.
Brown and Ross are pleading with everyone who can to give blood.
On the Arkansas Blood Institute’s website they have more information on how you can give blood in your community.