A critical blood shortage has Mississippi hospitals and donation centers in Crisis Status. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on how to donate blood to save lives.
The lack of blood donations over the past month has put Mississippi Blood Services into what they are calling Crisis Status. They are nearly out of every type of blood they need to serve hospitals across the state. Emily Austin is with Mississippi Blood Services. She says to keep up with demand, they need to collect 250 units every day.
"Cancer patients need blood and platelets each and every day. If there was to be a major car accident, one victim can take anywhere from 50 to 150 units of blood, and it has to be on the shelves 24-48 hours before it goes out to the hospitals."
Austin says every two seconds someone needs blood.
After donating blood, Todd Brooks of Madison is eating his complimentary snacks. He says he gives blood every three months, and today he is donating for a coworker who is waiting for a heart transplant.
"We had a blood drive at our local office over a year ago, and she's still on the waiting list, so I try to come in and donate blood directly for her. It's just something I can do, a small part to try to help other people, and I hope others would do that if I was in need of blood as well."
Blood donations can be made once every 56 days, and each donation can save up to three lives. To learn more or find a location to donate, visit the Mississippi Blood Services website.