MEDIC issues call for donors amid local shortages, and ‘devastation’ of Texas supply

MEDIC Regional Blood Center is asking for blood donations as soon as possible to help not only stabilize the local blood supply, but they are also hoping to collect enough blood products to supply some relief to Texas blood centers that have been devasted by winter storms.

Locally, MEDIC is reporting an “immediate, critical need” (which means less than a 2-day supply) for O Positive blood and “low” inventory levels (less than a 3-day supply) O Negative, A Positive, and A Negative  blood types.

You can donate at any of MEDIC’s fixed donor centers or at any of its community blood drives.

Donors can visit www.medicblood.org to find the locations of, directions to and hours of operation for the donor centers and the mobile blood drives.

MEDIC continues to require all donors to wear a mask or face covering.

Appointments are preferred. There is very limited availability for walk-in donors. Appointments can be made online at www.medicblood.org using the donate link or by calling 865-524-3074.

MEDIC says that while the winter weather has affected the blood supply in our region due to canceled drives it has “devastated” the blood supply in the state of Texas.

Jim Decker, CEO of MEDIC, said in a press release, “This is a great opportunity for our East Tennessee volunteers to help their neighbors in our region and in Texas. Whatever we can send them, will be a big help as they stabilize their inventory.”

This is what CEOs of two Texas blood centers had to say:

Brian Gannon, CEO of GulfCoast (Houston Metro Area): “Our community needs blood and greatly appreciate those who are able to help. GulfCoast was averaging 1000 units collected per day, they have not been able to collect since Sunday. Power has been out at most of his facilities going on 2+ days.”

Nick Canedo, We Are Blood VP of Community Relations (Austin Metro Area):

“Central Texas’ community blood and platelet supply is critically low as the winter storm has closed We Are Blood’s donation centers and mobile drives since Saturday. Through Wednesday, we have been unable to safely open and collect donations with impassable travel conditions and power outages affecting many of our donors, volunteers, and staff. Importing necessary donations from other areas of the country has been unfeasible due to airport and highway closures. While all donation types are in dire need, platelet donations, with their shorter shelf life, are especially low after several days of closures.”

MEDIC says in the press release, “This devastation is an important reminder that the blood on the shelves now is what would be used in a trauma event and it takes at least three days for donated blood to be processed and ready for distribution.”

Again, for more, visit www.medicblood.org.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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