National and local blood supply at all-time low, blood donors needed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Blood banks across the nation are still feeling COVID-19′s impact after months of canceled blood drives.

Northeast Florida hospitals need your help taking care of patients.

“We’re currently in critical need for all blood types right now. A lot of people aren’t aware that blood has a shelf life just like the milk and the eggs in your refrigerator,” Karen Patterson, South’s Community Development Coordinator for Northeast, said.

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Last summer proved to be historic in multiple ways.

The drop in donations during the height of the pandemic, now raises a serious concern for the health community. So much so, local blood center LifeSouth is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“There’s a nationwide shortage that’s been going on since 2020 and unfortunately our donations are still 25% below average so we’re still kind of a deficit right now,” Patterson said.

What does donating look like nowadays?

Some are raising concerns over what vaccines may do to donations. Patterson said it’s nothing to worry about.

“There’s been no cases of transmission of COVID-19 from blood donations or from transfusion,” Patterson said.

She said whether you have had one or two doses of any vaccine, your blood is okay to donate.

“If I’ve received both vaccines will my blood be safe to pass on to a patient receiving blood?” Patterson said. “And the answer for that is yes.”

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Officials hope the additional day open will be more convenient for people and help replenish the concerning, dwindling supply.

“Every four seconds someone needs it. So it’s a huge need especially right here in our community,” Patterson said.

If you would like to help, visit www.lifesouth.org for more information.