The South Bend Medical Foundation, which supplies blood to area blood banks, is critically low on type A negative and type O negative blood. Supplies are so low, especially for O negative, that they will not be able to provide blood to emergency rooms and trauma centers that need it.
“Over the weekend we really started feeling that the blood supply was getting to a level that we were not comfortable with,” said Christina Tembo, manager of blood donor recruitment at South Bend Medical Foundation. “We need about 125 donors a day to keep our blood supply at a safe level. In this donor center we haven’t yet had 10 today.”
Tembo said there are typically fewer donors around this time of year, but nothing like what is being experienced this year. O negative is a universal blood type that is used most in traumas where a patient is critically injured and needs an immediate transfusion.
“A trauma could use 100 units of blood for one trauma patient at one time. So I think the community doesn’t realize how quickly a patient in the trauma unit could go through blood,” said Tembo.
An urgent plea has been put out to the community to donate. Blood donor centers in South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart are especially in need. To find hours and locations of other centers in the area, visit www.givebloodnow.com.
Source: ABC 57