Blood Center: Storm Scared Away Donors

Tropical Storm Edouard may have caused minimal damage to the Houston area, but it had a significant impact on the region's blood supply. Pat Hernandez says the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center hopes residents can help by donating the gift of life.
Blood donors stayed home and a lot of businesses canceled their scheduled blood drives as Edouard took aim at the Houston area. It resulted in a significant depletion.

"We actually had 21 blood drives that had canceled and that equated to about 600 units."


Courtney Johnson is with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center:

"That doesn't also include the individuals that normally would go to our 13 neighborhood donor centers across the area who were staying at home, or were doing other things because of the storm. So, it really had a tremendous impact and most importantly, it impacted making sure we had blood available to our hospitals."

More than 900 donations are needed each day to service the Center's 25 county region, that includes 220 hospitals. If they're in a pinch, Johnson says hospitals will use the universal blood type-O during surgery.

"But if your blood type is type-A, that's great for platelets. If your blood type is type-AB, that's wonderful for plasma, and if its type-O or type-B, then that is great for red cells. So, no matter what your blood type is, there's a specific need for you."

If you'd like to donate, you must be at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good general health. More information can be found at www.giveblood.org.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...