Middle Tennessee experiencing critical blood shortage

Demand for blood products at area hospitals remains high despite locally low blood inventories. Both the American Red Cross and Blood Assurance will host several nearby blood drives over the coming weeks. (File Photo)

REGIONAL NEWS — Low supply and high demand leads to critical shortages. That’s the story from Middle Tennessee blood banks and it could lead to dangerous situations for Moore County folks who find themselves in the hospital over the next several months.

In July of this year, the American Red Cross reported that Tennessee was short about 2,700 pints of blood a month and that trends seems to be continuing. Dangerously low levels can affect everyone from patients being transported to a level one trauma center like Vanderbilt to cancer patients.

According to the American Red Cross, they currently have an emergency blood and platelet shortage as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to challenge the nation’s blood supply. Donor turnout is at its lowest levels of the year, with September and October having the lowest national blood inventory levels in more than a decade. Despite the low level of giving, strong demand for blood products by hospitals is spiking.

Donating blood is essential to help save the lives of patients who will depend on the availability of blood this fall. Type O is the most needed blood group by hospitals. Platelets, the clotting portion of blood, is primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and must be transfused within five days of donation.

Eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O blood, are needed to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets to ensure critical patient needs are met. In order to spur O blood donations, both the American Red Cross and Blood Assurance are offering perks for O donors.

At the American Red Cross, donors who come to donate will receive a link by email for a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich or a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. At Blood Assurance, all O donors will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card now through October 2022.

Here are the next five blood drives happening closest to Moore County:

1| Friday, October 22 – Blood Assurance Blood Drive at Southern Tennessee Regional Health Systems located at 185 Hospital Drive in Winchester from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2 | Wednesday, October 27 – Blood Assurance Blood Drive at Fayetteville High School located at 1800 Wilson Parkway in Fayetteville from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

3 | Monday, November 1 – Blood Assurance Blood Drive at South Central Human Resources Agency offices located at 1437 Fayetteville Highway in Fayetteville from 12-4 p.m.

4 | Thursday, November 4 – Blood Assurance Blood Drive at Motlow State Community College from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5 | Tuesday, November 9 – American Red Cross Drive at the First Baptist Church located at 200 NE Atlantic Street in Tullahoma from 1 to 6 p.m.

For more upcoming and future local blood drives visit the Blood Assurance donor’s page or the American Red Cross’s Find a Drive page.

{The Lynchburg Times is the only Lynchburg-owned newspaper in Moore County. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}