The Texoma Regional Blood Center is still critically low on all blood types. After a surplus in November, the blood center experienced a drought that is still in effect.
Texoma Regional Blood Center representative Brandy Barnard says that the shortage of blood may have something to do with the flu.
“We are short on all of it,” she said. “The reason is one of the first questions that we ask when people come to donate is if they are well. That means that if the donor is unwell or someone in there house is not feeling well, they may not come out to donate. We have been seeing fewer of our regular donors.”
Blood received by the blood center goes to area hospitals including Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center, Texoma Medical Center, Heritage Park, Red River Regional Hospital and Muenster Memorial Hospital.
“One in six hospitals in the United States need blood right now so it is not just us,” Barnard said. “At the end of the year, people have generally met their deductible and are able to do more medically. Some procedures result in the need of blood. Sometimes when women give birth, they need blood.”
Barnard said that it is normal for the blood center to experience a shortage in January.
“I think it has to do with people being sick, people not wanting to get out in the cold, and people not being completely back in the swing of things after the holidays,” she said. “But if we do not have it, we cannot order it. Nationwide we need O-negative blood because that is the universal type. Without it, things can be scary.”
During the summer, the blood bank also experiences another shortage, Barnard said.
“People are traveling during the summer so our regulars do not make it in,” she said.
To help combat the semi annual shortages, some local people and organizations are hosting blood drives. JTalk Service’s Melida Ailshire will host a birthday blood drive on Feb. 6 at the Sherman Municipal Building.
“This is the sixth year that she has spent her birthday with us,” Barnard said. “We have a few others that have done similar birthday events, but Melida brings cupcakes and cookies for those that give. She stays with us the whole day.”
For those that would like to host a blood drive, Barnard said that people can check the blood bank’s website at TexomaBlood.org for scheduling.