LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky Blood Center is issuing an urgent call for more donations as the state’s supply depletes quickly.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky Blood Center is issuing an urgent call for more donations

  • The COVID-19 pandemic paused mobile drives and pop-up collection last year

  • Hospitals' usage of blood has increased in April

  • Call to donors for to help fill the shortage

Hospital usage of blood products has increased by 25 units of blood per day this month compared to last month, creating the highest April usage in the last five years, according to Mandy Brajuha with the Kentucky Blood Center.

“We are at pre-pandemic transfusion rates at our hospitals that we serve, yet we're still battling back trying to recover the blood we collect on our mobile blood drives,” Brajuha said.

Their six blood centers across the Commonwealth are performing well in collections, but there’s a dent.

Every two weeks David Devine drives from Danville to Lexington to make a donation. He started becoming a regular donor after his friend was diagnosed with Leukemia.

“The unfortunate thing is that 70% of our blood comes from mobile blood drives, we're out every day in different communities on bloodmobiles set up in churches, community centers, and unfortunately, a lot of those drives haven't come back yet,” Brajuha said.

The pandemic paused mobile drives and pop-up collection last year. While those drives may slowly return now, the blood center is issuing an urgent call for more pints.

“We don't like to wait until there's a critical shortage, but now that there is we really need the community to respond and come out and donate and help us to restock the shelves and get the blood supply back up to a comfortable level,” Brajuha said.

Emily Ash is helping reach that critical collection. She sees it firsthand being a nurse in Lexington.

“Blood’s necessary for everyone, COVID-19] patients, heart patients, all over the hospital,” Ash said. “We're using a lot of blood, our patients are critically ill and they need it, to help them survive and prolong their hospital stay to make it a positive outcome.”

Brajuha said anyone can donate blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. She said donors should be well without symptoms and free of side effects.