The need for blood donations continues to be critical nationwide and Erie’s Community Blood Bank is also seeing shortages.
We spoke with the blood bank and some area hospitals to see what the situation means for the region.
Erie’s Community Blood Bank is seeing less than one day supply of blood.
Trays that aren’t filled with all blood type donations have been common for all community blood banks in the country including in Erie County.
Some area hospitals are saying that the blood shortage lately has been a common challenge.
“When we don’t have them that really puts us in a tough position to provide the care that we need to for patients and so we use certain emergency products and other ones are type specific to patients,” said Dr. Shelley Reynolds, Trauma Surgeon, UPMC Hamot.
That means all blood types are needed, especially Type O used to treat trauma patients.
“Because we could have a trauma patient come in and could require many doses of blood in order to stabilize that patient,” said Dr. Jeffery Richmond, Pathologist at Saint Vincent.
Erie’s Blood Bank is saying that the blood inventory is at a critical level that the shelves aren’t filling up to save a life.
“We don’t have anything on the shelves to stock up right now. So what we need people to do is come in today, come in tomorrow, come in next week. The shortage isn’t going to stop,” said Erin Tighe, Community Relations Specialist.
Tighe said that the low stock in blood donations impacts the 20 hospitals that the Erie Community Blood Bank serves.
Doctors from area hospitals believe that blood shortages isn’t going to stop, especially in the time of COVID when all hospitals are filled with more patients now more than ever.
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