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National blood shortage puts local patients at risk, South Texas Blood Center says

Experts say the COVID-19 crisis canceled blood drives and created more need for donations to help critically injured patients and people undergoing major surgery.

SAN ANTONIO — The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center says that a national shortage of blood is putting local patients at risk.

STBTC said that they distributed almost 1,100 units of blood to local hospitals, but got less than 500 total on those days. They say they need at least 500 per day to keep up with demand.

They said in a release that the COVID-19 has canceled thousands of blood drives across the country. Critically injured patients, those undergoing surgery, and many others need blood transfusions, and that need has gone up as supply has gone down.

“The need for blood increased 35% in January, far more than what we normally see around this year,” said Adrienne Mendoza, vice president of Blood Operations at STBTC. “This is straining our local blood supply and putting our community at risk.”

 Donors can make an appointment by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org or calling 210-731-5590. All donors get a $10 Amazon gift card and a free smoothie from Smoothie King.