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Miller-Keystone Issues 'Critical Plea' for Blood Donations Amid 'Dangerously Low' Supply Levels | WDIY Local News

 Someone with blue latex gloves holds a bag and three vials filled with blood.

The regional blood center is making a critical appeal to donors as blood supplies reach dangerously low levels.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center is asking for donors of all blood types, including platelet donors.

In a release Thursday, Corporate Director of Communications Marie Clemens said the current need for blood is critical to supply 35 regional hospitals with the necessary blood products.

She said Miller-Keystone currently has less than a one-day supply’s worth of blood products on its shelves, and that one accident or trauma could deplete its inventory.

“Our hospitals need blood products every day to treat accident and burn victims, cancer patients, premature infants, surgical patients, and many others right here in our community,” she said.

“We need all available blood donors to take an hour, roll up their sleeves, and help our community by donating their lifesaving blood.”

Chief Operating Officer Rami Nemeh said the center’s target is to have a three-day supply of blood products available for hospitals, around 1,200 units of blood.

However, as of Thursday he said Miller-Keystone only had 411 available units on its shelves.

Nemeh said in previous years Miller-Keystone was able to import blood from other centers across the country but stated that this is not feasible this year because blood supplies nationwide are at a “historically critical low.”

He also said the community blood supply has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, citing school and business closures, remote work and a lack of blood drives caused by the arrival of COVID-19.

He said despite a return to in-person work and schooling, many locations were still unable to host bloodmobile drives.

These problems have been compounded by the expected summer decline and the associated school hiatuses, vacations, and increased travel.

“Blood is perishable and there is no substitute. It can only come from the generosity of volunteer blood donors,” Clemens said.

Interested donors must be 16 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. Parental consent is required for 16-year-old donors, and all donors must show valid identification.

Blood donors must also not have donated in the past eight weeks, though platelet donors are eligible within eight days of a previous donation.

Donations can be scheduled by calling 800-B-A-DONOR (223-6667) or by visiting Miller-Keystone’s website.

(Original air-date: 7/7/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.