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'Your neighbors need your help' | South Texas Blood and Tissue Center experiencing urgent blood shortage

The national blood supply is so low as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the American Red Cross has declared its first ever national blood crisis.

SAN ANTONIO — The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center provided an update on blood supply Friday amid a nation-wide shortage.

The press conference Friday morning featured Mayor Ron Nirenberg, County Judge Nelson Wolff, Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, Dr. Leslie Greebon, Medical Director of Transfusion Services, University Hospital and Dr. Joyce Schwartz, blood bank director, Methodist Hospital System.

The national blood supply is so low as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the American Red Cross has declared its first ever national blood crisis.

The Red Cross said earlier this week it has seen a 10% decline in the number of people donating blood since the pandemic began. The decline coincided with the emergence of the delta variant of COVID-19 followed by the omicron variant now. 

Donor turnout is down, blood drives have been canceled and there have been staffing shortages, the organization said.

Mayor Nirenberg said, "You can literally help save lives by donating blood...your neighbors need your help."

We also heard from Judge Wolff who emphasized the importance of the young generation assisting. "We're gonna need young people to step up too," he said. Judge Wolff also said a spike in cases could be anywhere from one week to three weeks.

Watch the full press conference here: