Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Plea for younger blood donors

Community Blood Center declares 2nd blood emergency in 75 days; 4th blood emergency in 2022.

KANSAS CITY – Community Blood Center (CBC) announced another blood emergency today, their second in 75 days and 4th in 2022, as the region’s blood supply is once again at a 1-2 day supply. “It isn’t that folks are not donating blood,” explains Patsy Shipley, Vice President of Community Blood Center, “but that there is a small group of loyal blood donors who are representing the entire community and shouldering the burden for all.” Despite new and innovative strategies to encourage the scheduling of more community blood drives, to inspire new and youth donors, and to regain lapsed blood donors, the gap between what hospital patients need and the available blood supply is growing.

This isn’t a local problem; for over 2.5 years, blood centers across the nation have been struggling. There was always a surplus of blood in the U.S., so if one region of the country was short, not-for-profit blood centers could help one another. There is no surplus in the U.S. anymore.

Perhaps the most significant contributing factor is the lack of first-time donors. As older generations age out of the donor pool and become ineligible to donate, they are not being replaced by donors from younger generations, creating a significant challenge in our ability to meet hospital need. In 2019, CBC saw over 20,000 first-time donors. Now, we are expected to end the year with approximately 9,000 fewer first-time donors, further burdening a blood supply that is already stretch thin.

Blood emergencies in the last decade typically happened twice per year around the 4th of July and December holidays. However, we haven’t had the ideal blood supply of 5-7 days in over 30 months. Repeated blood emergency messaging is also not helping as our community become desensitized to the urgent need.

Community Blood Center is asking the community, especially youth and first-time or former blood donors who have not given in the last few years, to step up and take some of the burden off those that have been giving blood. Even if you cannot donate, you can help the blood center by spreading the word about the critical national shortage and need for local blood donors. Tell your friends, post on social or bring a first-time blood donor.

CBC hosts blood drives every day, in addition to their 7 area donor centers, in order to reach donors and meet local hospital needs. We are taking extra precautions to help

prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

To make an appointment at a blood drive near you, donors can call 877-468-6844 or visit savealifenow.org. Can’t donate blood? You can still support CBC’s mission by texting ‘CBCKC to ‘20222’ to give $20.

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About Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City (CBC) Founded in 1958, Community Blood Center (CBC) provides over 90% of the blood used by hospitals throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area, as well as eastern Kansas and western Missouri. CBC provides nearly 200,000 blood products each year to over 60 area hospitals and relies on volunteer donors each day to meet the need for lifesaving gifts of blood. 

CBC operates 365/24/7 to deliver safe, high quality products to meet transfusion needs for routine care and emergencies. CBC is a Division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises). 

For more information, visit savealifenow.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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