Blood Donation Shortage Worrying Some Who Need it the Most

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Blood supplies in the Basin are dangerously low, and the patients who rely on them are feeling it the most.

"It's a feeling that you can't describe. I need it, and where is it?" Pre-Leukemia Patient, Ernie Adair, said.
For 75-year-old Ernie Adair blood donations are vital to his health. 
"As long as he gets his platelets in red blood cells, it builds him up. He has energy to make it through the day," Daughter Dianne Gilbreath, said.
Adair was diagnosed with Leukemia and needs transfusions every two weeks, but the shortage in blood donations worries him.

"I needed two plateletts. I went in last Thursday and had one. I was already in bed waiting. They came back and said we have a person sicker than you, I said give it to him," Adair said.

United Blood Services say they're worried the blood shortage is a sign of what the next few months will be like for them.

"What's happened in the last few weeks is blood donations have severly declined, but usage has actually picked up, so there's this huge gap. There were days this week where we had no donations of a positive or o negatives, so it's been very difficult to take care of hospital orders," Lee Hartmann with United Blood Services said.

Hospital orders for patients like Adair, where just last week, he was put on hold for a blood transfusion he so desperately needed.

"I never imagined that in this time and age, it would happen to me," Adair said.

He ended up getting his second platelets, but Adair and his family say the'yre worried about getting more blood in time for his next transfusion in two weeks.

"Not just for my dad, but for other patients. There were others that stood in line waiting. When your bone marrow is not producing this, you have to get it some where else. I think people in the Basin should know it could be in your family, just like us," Gilbreath said.

Both Adair and the United Blood Services say they want everyone to know that making a blood donation can go a long way and save lives. 
"You never understand the importance of donating blood until you have a family member in need," Hartmann said.
"Everyone needs to know how bad it is, if you don't have it, what do you do?" Adair said.