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Blood donations critically low in West Texas

Vitalant said that with the 42 counties it serves, the hospitals need around 800 pints of blood per day, but are only getting around 200 pints.

MIDLAND, Texas — From toilet paper to Chick-fil-A sauces, there have been shortages for many different things over the last year. 

In west Texas, there's another shortage that could mean the difference between life and death. Our local blood bank is dangerously low.

Vitalant is extremely low right now, saying that they aren't getting enough donations to supply the hospitals in our region.

"We are in a summer shortage of blood, and that means people are not coming out at all," Dianne Scott, Vitalant's donor recruitment supervisor said. "If the people that donate, eligible donors, would come out and donate, if they donate once a year, come out and donate twice a year. We wouldn’t be in a critical shortage right now."

Vitalant serves 42 counties, and those counties combined require a lot of blood each day.

"Our area, we need around 800 pints a day you know for all the hospitals, because we have all the counties that we supply to," Scott said. "Right now we’re getting maybe, I don’t know, 200 or something like that."

Scott said it's never been this bad.

"In my 20 years of being with Vitalant, this is the worst I’ve ever seen it, and I don’t want to say that if it’s not true but it’s true," Scott said. "It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it. Coming out of the pandemic, we were around oh I don’t know maybe 1000 units behind."

Scott said that they are short on all types of blood, but one in particular is like liquid gold to a blood bank.

"We’re short on O+ and O-," Scott said. "That’s what we need the most, but we do need all types of blood. The reason that we’re short on O- blood is because it’s the universal blood type and because of that, people don’t know their blood types."

This contributes to the overall shortage.

"Even if you don’t donate blood, you need to know your blood type," Scott said. "For if something happens to you and you didn’t know your blood type, we have to give you O-, and that’s why we can’t keep O- on the shelves."

People can make an appoointment to donate blood by visiting www.Vitalant.org