Austin (KXAN) — It has been a year since the American Red Cross announced the first ever blood crisis.
The blood shortage was the worst in more than a decade, officials said, and it is being felt in Central Texas.
“There is an urgent need for blood donation. As we enter 2023, our entire community is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of blood transfusions needed for local patients,” said Nick Canedo, Vice President of Community Engagement, We Are Blood.
The non-profit blood center serves Central Texas and more than 40 hospitals and health care facilities in 10 counties.
The Red Cross said the blood crisis has forced some doctors to decide who gets blood transfusions at hospitals and who needs to wait until supplies increase.
“I think our hospitals are doing a great job of partnering with We Our Blood and our blood donors to keep the public supply of patient blood,” Canedo said. “But starting in 2023, we are seeing a sharp drop in donations.”
Canedo explained that the need for this was urgent due to the growing city. “Over the past five years, the number of red blood cells needed by patients has increased by more than 30%, and the number of platelets required by patients over the past five years has increased by more than 40%,” he explained.
January marks the beginning of National Blood Donor Month and we hope people will donate blood to save lives.
Canedo said if that’s not enough, there are other reasons as well.
“Donate by January 15th and you can win a seat for yourself and plus one at the Franklin Barbecue Private Dinner. This is a private dinner, no lines and dinner for us,” said Canedo.
Platelet donors can also enter for a chance to win a $25 HEB gift card.
You can donate blood at any of the We Are Blood locations.