Blood donations are low after winter weather and illness has led to many blood drive cancellations.
The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks has lost hundreds of donations recently. On a typical day, the center gets around 200 blood donations. But, in the past two weeks there has been 3 times that many donations cancelled creating a shortage of blood.
“If we lose that many donations over a long period of time it can really negatively affect our blood reserves,” says Chris Pilgrim, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.
After several weeks of bad weather, the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is seeing blood donations at a low for the beginning of the year.
“We do a lot of blood drives at schools and when schools aren’t in session- if they are cancelled because of ice and snow we’re naturally not going to hold a blood drive,” says Chris Pilgrim.
At one point even the blood center in Joplin itself had to close early for dangerous weather conditions.
“We had virtually no donations on Friday because of the nasty weather and so when you fall behind like that it can be difficult to catch back up,” says Pilgrim.
And around this time of year it’s already hard to get donations due to illnesses.
“The blood donations and blood drives that do go on are affected negatively by sickness this time of year. Lots of people have colds and flu and you’re not allowed to donate if you’re feeling bad,” says Pilgrim.
So, CBCO officials are asking the public to give blood to help replenish their reserves that go to local hospitals in the area.
“You know it’s estimated that if you live to age 70 there’s about a 90 percent chance you’re going to use blood at some point during your lifetime, so this is just a good reminder to pay it forward, donate blood and do it for the local community for local patients,” says Pilgrim.
The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks in Joplin is located inside the Northpark Mall, and is open 11 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.