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Kentucky facing a blood shortage as hospital blood needs rise

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Hospitals across Kentucky are using more blood than usual and that is leading to a blood supply shortage. The Kentucky Blood Center is putting out the call for donations. The recent uptick in traumas is causing medical facilities to use 18% more blood for transfusions over recent months.

Eric Lindsey is the spokesman for the Kentucky Blood Center. He said it is important they keep a steady supply of blood on hand.

“We’ve got to be prepared, you can’t forecast when traumas are going to happen. We need blood on the shelves so when they do happen we have enough here to be able to serve folks and not have to make these calls to folks to say “get in here now because we’re running really low.”

He said supplies are so critical they will take whatever types they can get.

“If you have O-negative or O-positive blood that is always in high demand. O-neg is the universal blood, it can go to anyone. But I’ll tell you, across the board we have one week, three different blood types, the next week it’s a different blood type. We need every blood type right now because of where we have been operating the past two and a half years.”

Lindsey said hospitals usually try to have a three- or four-day supply of blood on hand for emergencies. He added that the pandemic drastically reduced stores and the blood center has been playing catch-up ever since.

All types of blood are being requested. Health officials say people can donate whole blood every 56 days.

Copyright 2022 WEKU. To see more, visit WEKU.

Born in Morehead Kentucky, Stan Ingold got his start in public radio as a volunteer at Morehead State Public Radio. He worked there throughout his college career as a reporter, host and producer and was hired on as the Morning Edition Host after graduating with a degree in History from Morehead State University. He remained there for nearly three years. Along with working in radio he spent a great deal of time coaching speech and forensics at Rowan County Senior High School in Morehead, working with students and teaching them broadcasting techniques for competitions.
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