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Local Blood Centers Ensure Supply Is Meeting Need

Texas Medical
March 22, 2022
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Physicians Urge Donation, But Texas Faring Better
Than Parts of U.S.

Texas physicians are calling for the public to donate blood to shore up supply and ensure blood and blood product needs here are met – while some areas of the country have experienced shortages.

“During these challenging times, no patient – be they a transplant or surgical patient, an accident victim, or an individual with sickle cell disease – can wait until their blood transfusion is convenient,” said William S. Crews Jr., MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association Subcommittee on Transfusion and Transplantation.

“We urge our fellow Texans to roll up their sleeves and donate now, and plan to do so regularly.”

The medical director at a community blood center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area said while blood donations are needed right now and always, the current situation is not as critical as some areas of the country. That’s because the regional blood centers in our state help Texans sufficiently meet fellow Texans’ needs.

Blood donations nationwide decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting some areas of the U.S. to curtail some medical procedures like elective surgeries.

“Although we are experiencing some blood supply shortages, we’re definitely not at the crisis level of telling hospitals, ‘I’m sorry, I know you were expecting 50 units of blood. Tomorrow, we’re only going to maybe give you 30 units,’” he said, describing what’s happened in other states.

“I’m not aware of any of blood centers in Texas having to go to the level of reducing the amount of blood that they provide for patients.”

That’s because in the Lone Star State, the focus is on collecting local blood and keeping it local as much as possible.

“In Texas, we have a strong network of those community blood centers,” he said. So as some national organizations and others in parts of the country sounded an urgent alarm earlier this year for donations, Texas was better off.

That status only remains positive if people donate, Dr. Crews said, which is why he and his fellow TMA committee members urge people to find a regional blood center and give.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 56,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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