RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – Winter Storm Izzy on Sunday had major impacts to travel and power for some parts of the state. It also led to the closure of half of The Blood Connection’s donation centers.
The Blood Connection said the closures meant they could not collect the necessary 800 units of blood per day it needed for area hospitals.
It comes at a time when The Blood Connection and the American Red Cross said they were experiencing a critical blood shortage.
Pre-pandemic, hospitals could rely on a four- to five-day supply of blood. It’s now down to a one-day supply.
At Duke Health, Dr. Nicholas Bandarenko, director of transfusion services, said staffing shortages due to COVID-19, fewer school blood drives, and fewer donors are to blame for the issue.
He said Duke has to make hard choices daily about which patients need blood right away and who can wait. Bandarenko said they have to delay procedures once or twice a week to account for the shortage.
With another potential for winter weather later this week, The Blood Connection said the community’s blood supply continues to be in jeopardy. They worry about another round of closures and bad roads preventing donors from visiting centers.
The Blood Connection is has urged people to donate blood as soon as possible to ensure hospitals have the blood supply they need.
“Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking they’re going to be the next victim of a car accident or trauma that needs blood. So every one of us, and those that we love, could be affected by this. So, we need everyone out there donating that’s eligible,” Bandarenko said.