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Blood supply in Mississippi is critically low

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Blood supply in Mississippi is critically low
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Blood supply is critically low at Mississippi blood Services
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Shelves at Mississippi Blood Services are empty. The organization typically has a shortage during the holiday season, but are calling this year's shortage a crisis. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Mississippi Blood Services is asking for more donors to give now. It requires 250 to 300 donors every day to meet the needs of patients across the state. In December, donations dropped 25 percent declaring the shortage a crisis.

Merle Eldridge is with Mississippi Blood Services.

"Here in Mississippi, we don't want to get out in the cold weather so that has prevented people from coming out. Illnesses, people getting geared back up for the new year, and lots of things have impacted the donors from actually coming in and donating. So, therefore, our shelves are absolutely bare," said Eldridge.

LaShaunda Davenport is the mother of 10-year-old DJ, who was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at birth. She says her son must have a blood transfusion every month, especially during cold weather months, to prevent stroke and pain.

"People can't receive the transfusions you're really in a tough situation. You have to postpone treatments that patients like my son DJ need. Transfusions that could help him with his pain crisis and not just pain crisis, some situations could be life or death," said Davenport.

Davenport says last year one of her son's transfusions was postponed seven days due to a shortage.

"I was told there wasn't a match available. My question to the physician was what if this was serious and he really needed blood? What would happen? Her answer was, we would give him what's available and hope for the best. As a parent, that's something you don't want to hear," said Davenport.

More information about donating blood is available on Mississippi Blood Services website.