MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The need for blood donations continues across West Texas.
United Blood Services has joined American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and America's Blood Centers. The American Red Cross is also stating there is a critical need for blood and platelet donors across the country.
According to a press release, the nation's blood supply is facing significantly low levels.
The blood community is encouraging individuals throughout the U.S. to schedule an appointment today.
"Maintaining a safe and adequate blood supply is critical to the nation's public health and a priority for the medical community," said Miriam A. Markowtiz, CEO of AABB, "Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood."
Summer is especially a challenging time for blood centers to ensure an adequate blood supply due to donors taking vacations and schools being out of session.
In the West Texas, the press release said, 38 percent of the blood collected comes from high school and college blood drives.
Despite the summer season, the need for blood remains constant, and with this, patients continue to depend on the generosity of blood donors to meet that need.
This summer specifically has been extremely difficult with tragedies that have occurred in Orlando, Minnesota and Dallas.
Accidents occur more frequently over the summer months, adding even more blood usage.
After a person donates, it takes 24- 48 hours before the blood can be delivered to and used for a transfusion in a hospital due to processing and testing procedures.
With the extreme heat in our immediate area, it has effected mobile drives as well as the amount of donors coming to the centers.
The Zika virus restriction has also been a major factor preventing potential donors from donating for 28 days if they've traveled to certain regions.
In our area, this is huge due to thousands of people who travel back and forth to Juarez.
Zika virus restrictions may be alleviated with possible volunteer research testing coming soon.