ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The need for blood is crucial. Without it, this could mean delayed blood transfusions or even canceled surgeries. That's why United Blood Services is working with Midland Memorial and Medical Center Hospital to avoid that problem. Both hospitals are trying to get as many blood donations as they can on Monday and Tuesday.
"There really is a short supply of blood constantly because it is a consumable resource and it doesn't have an infinite shelf life," said Dr. Charles Burns, Chief of Laboratory and Director of Transfusion Services at Medical Center Hospital. "We tend to use it and it needs to be replenished. That's why we appreciate people coming in and donating once or multiple times."
In recent years, several blood banks in the Basin have experienced a shortage in blood supplies. Last month, United Blood Services announced the urgent need for blood donations around the country and they're constantly trying to keep a 3-day supply of blood on the shelf in order to care for patients.
Medical Center Hospital, is also needing blood for services from intensive care, trauma service, delivery to oncology.
"During the boom years, they had a lot of traumas, a lot of car wrecks, or people out in the farmlands that got thrown from a horse, tractor accident or people having a fall, having a lot of folks here meant that that business was increased and we use a lot of blood during those peak times," said Burns.
This effort isn't just about hospitals getting as many blood donors as they could, but it's about the number of lives they could save.
"Usually every chance I get, I'll donate blood. I've been doing it since I was 16," said blood donor Luke Hightower. "If you can donate, donate. They need the blood. It makes me feel good when I donate blood. They tell you when they stick you, you just saved a life. That feels good knowing I'm helping somebody when they need it."
If you want to donate, you can sign up online by clicking here or contact Susan Thornton at (432) 640-2347 or email@example.com. The blood drive will continue on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.