LifeSouth, hospital leaders pleading for blood donations amid shortage

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 7:40 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As omicron continues to spread, it has wreaked havoc on blood drives statewide, with many being canceled. And there’s a critical need for blood right now.

LifeSouth Community Blood Center supplies blood for every hospital in Montgomery and a vast majority of hospitals across the state. Currently, LifeSouth only has a three-day supply of blood on its shelves for all blood types and no O-negative blood.

“We are still in emergency need, so that puts us in a big emergency situation,” said Sharon Hammock with LifeSouth.

With the spike in new COVID-19 cases and more schools going virtual and more people working from home, blood drives statewide are being canceled.

“Our donor base has decreased quite a bit just in the last month due to all of the COVID cases,” said Hammock.

Right now there is an urgent plea for the public to roll up their sleeves and donate.

“We are desperately in need of people going to donate. None of us know if we’re going to have some life-threatening event that’s going to require blood transfusions,” said Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

Williamson says we’ve faced blood shortages before, but this is unprecedented.

“This probably be the worst we’ve seen to date,” said Williamson.

Hospital leaders in our state are very concerned about having adequate blood for surgical, trauma and other patients.

“So we are desperately in need of people to going to donate. We’re already at risk of seeing elective surgeries canceled. My great fear is that we’re going to find somebody who suddenly needs more blood than is available, and that’s going to negatively affect their chances of recovery and doing well as a result of their operation, their surgery or whatever the issue is. So omicron and COVID are having their effect not only directly, but they’re having their effect indirectly by driving people away from donation,” said Williamson.

Several of our healthcare leaders helped create a video to highlight the urgency of the situation.

LifeSouth says your donation can save up to three lives. There is also an emergency need for platelet donations. Platelets, the clotting portion of blood, are primarily given to cancer patients during treatment.

WSFA 12 News is once again partnering with LifeSouth for our annual Give From the Heart Blood Drive. It’s Feb. 11 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at four locations:

  1. LifeSouth in Montgomery
  2. Momma Goldberg’s in Troy
  3. Walmart in Wetumpka
  4. Prattville’s High Point Town Center

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