LEXINGTON, Ky. – As the nation struggles with blood shortages, UK HealthCare is feeling the impact.
UK HealthCare announced it's experiencing a critically low supply of all blood types because of the pandemic.
“The shortage of blood supply is mainly due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, which resulted in poor collections. Transfusions are currently outpacing donations. UK HealthCare depends on the Kentucky Blood Center to help supply the needed blood to support local patients. We need you now more than ever to donate blood and save lives," said Chief Medical Technologist at UK's Blood Bank Daoping Zhang.
Type O donations are particularly needed because they can be used to treat trauma patients whose blood types are unknown. This was the case for Cameron Catron who was shot outside a bar in downtown Lexington last year.
“I would not have lived if I didn’t receive an enormous amount of blood while hospitalized. I lost more than 20 units of blood in my first two days in the hospital,” Catron said.
Catron, a student athlete for Eastern Kentucky University at the time, encourages people to donate blood.
“I highly encourage people to donate blood," he said. "There are so many different situations where people need blood to live another second, another minute, or another day. You never know when your number is called where you will need blood yourself.”
Catron is just one person who benefitted from blood donations. UK HealthCare transfuses roughly 35,000 units of blood per year for various areas.
In response to the need, the Kentucky Blood Center is hosting a blood drive June 29 at UK HealthCare, but all appointments are booked. A second drive will be held July 6 in room HA-116 inside UK Chandler Hospital from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged and masks are required.
Before arriving, donors can complete health history questions online in preparation.