SAN ANTONIO — Right now, the U.S., including Texas, is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade.
The supply is so low that many hospitals are not only postponing elective surgeries, but are deferring patients from major surgeries, including life-saving organ transplants.
"In the beginning, I was a little nervous. Like, what was going to happen? You know, was it going to hurt? How long was it going to take? But now it's just okay, no problem," said Marcus Falcon, who has been donating blood at University Health's Blood Donor Services for 30 years.
Falcon told us, "One of my coworkers -- his mom -- needed some blood, so he asked me if I would help them out and donate some blood in her name."
He also donates platelets. Those are used to form blood clots to slow bleeding, or help wounds heal. Falcon said, "The platelets take a little longer, but it's it doesn't bother me no more. It comes natural."
The American Red Cross says 4.5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion each year. Someone needs blood every two seconds. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Healthy adults who are at least 17-years-old, and at least 110 pounds, may donate about a pint of blood about every two months.
Falcon says the 10 or 15 minutes it would take you to donate could be the most important 10 or 15 minutes of your life, and someone else's.
Falcon added, "Don't be afraid. I mean, yeah, you're going to be afraid because of the needle. But if you can take an allergy shot or the flu shot, it's the same thing, you know?"
You can schedule an appointment to donate blood either on the phone or online through University Health. You can call them at (210) 358-2812, or schedule an appointment here.
For more information on family health call (210) 358-3045. You can also find more Wear The Gown stories here.
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