Donation Shortage at Blood Assurance
COVID and Winter Weather negatively impacting blood donations
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- The recent rise in COVID cases and challenging weather have greatly reduced the number of blood donations, putting a strain on Blood Assurance.
The decline in donations comes during the first week of National Blood Donor Month.
Since January 1, COVID-19 and winter weather conditions have forced numerous businesses and organizations to cancel blood drives, events which would have yielded more than 800 units of blood for use by local hospitals.
As of this Thursday, there was less than a three day supply of blood in the Blood Assurance service area.
Due to the shortage, one doctor who has worked with blood assurance for the past 15 years has seen a new change in the past year.
“In the first fourteen years, I have never had to send out communication to our hospitals encouraging the cancellation of elective surgeries. But in 2021, I sent that out five times. So five times out of the year our hospitals have had to react, and it’s impacted patient care,” said Dr. Liz Culler.
Blood Assurance is currently giving away $10 Amazon gift cards to all whole blood donors who give blood through January 9. Those who donate platelets, plasma, or double red cells will receive a $20 gift card.