Blood donations needed to fight shortage

Updated: May. 8, 2020 at 5:03 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - As medical procedures begin to return to normal, the need for blood is rising as well.

“I started donating in high school, and I like helping my community so here I am.”

Justin Riddle has been donating blood since he was 16.

Taking the time to donate his O negative blood that he knows will help many people.

“Especially when there’s a shortage or something like that I do what I can,” Riddle said.

Right now the Texas blood institute is in need of more than just blood donations, but plasma and platelets as well.

“You can donate platelets every seven days, you can come to the center we can only take donations for platelets at the center, as far as red blood cells or plasma those can be taken at our various locations or our blood drives," Ben Schaffner, account consultant at the Texas Blood Institute, said.

COVID-19 has forced some changes for their drives. Limiting the number of people inside the bloodmobile to 10, or only being able to take one person’s blood at a time.

“At certain drives where we haven’t been allowed to do an inside setup it’s minimized our staffing and our ability to pull a big blood drive,” Schaffner said.

They’ve been trying to hold more blood drives and reach out more to past donors to help get the stock numbers back up. Hoping to make more people repeat donors like Riddle, to be ready to help when they’re needed again.

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