The blood supply takes constant monitoring and replenishing, and blood resource sharing among geographical areas elevates during times of tragedy. Because blood donors gave in advance both in these areas directly affected and those surrounding it, the blood needs of the West, Texas victims are currently being met. As these victims undergo surgery, blood must continue to be provided for those victims as well as the typical medical needs that require blood components.
At this time, LifeShare is continuing to stay close to the situation and to be prepared. We are asking for additional donors as we remain on standby to assist with emergency needs in nearby areas.
It takes more than 1,000 blood donations every week to meet the needs of our area, and even more when disaster strikes. Although replenishment is very important at this time, blood donations made in advance of the need are critical to being able to respond to these unforeseeable events with the emergency medical procedures required.
“Through a network of blood centers across the United States, when a blood supply depletes to an unsafe level, surrounding blood centers work to provide blood to that area. Being a neighboring blood center to the area affected by the explosion, we are acting quickly to increase the local inventory. This allows us to help replenish the blood supply in the Texas area, as needed, while keeping the blood supply in our immediate area at a safe level,” says Tina Hooper, spokesperson for LifeShare Blood Centers.
Trauma injuries, such as those caused by the explosion in West, Texas, typically require several units of blood immediately and blood components for follow up surgeries. Due to the multitude of injuries, the blood inventory in that area is being used quickly. Blood type O negative experiences the most use during emergency needs such as this because it is the universal blood type, meaning that someone with any blood type can accept it. In these emergency situations, the medical facility often does not have time to learn the victim’s blood type.
Individuals receive a mini-physical prior to the donation procedure, including a check of temperature, pulse, blood pressure and iron level. Potential donors must be age 16 or older, meet height and weight requirements, feel well and healthy at the time of donation, eat a good meal and increase fluid intake prior to donation. 16-year-olds must present written parent or guardian permission to donate. Donors will be asked to present identification. For more information and to schedule a blood donation or blood drive, please call your nearest LifeShare Blood Centers location.