Vitalant says there is a critical blood shortage

Health News

One El Paso man said if it wasn't for blood donors, he would not be alive today.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Vitalant said there is a critical shortage blood donations right now.

“It usually means that we are days from running out of at least certain types,” said Carla Alexander, the Marketing and Communications Director for Vitalant South Central Division.

It’s not just Vitalant with local donation centers in critical need of blood but also the American Red Cross.

It doesn’t just impact those who are involved in an emergency.

“What happens when we’re in a critical need and the blood starts going low is elective surgeries or surgeries that people may need but that aren’t emergent have to be postponed. Because it has to be on the shelf for urgent need,” said Alexander.

One El Paso man said if it wasn’t for blood donors, he would not be alive today.

“I had 25 blood transfusions and 7 in one night,” said Phillip Antonio Banks Sr.

Banks was in a major wreck while riding his motorcycle on Transmountain in March 2018.

He suffered many injuries including multiple broken bones. It was a fight for his life.

“I was bleeding out. Doctors didn’t know where,” he said. “Definitely could have bleed to death.”

Phillip’s wife, Melissa Banks, said she is thankful for those who saved her husband’s life and said it’s important for others donate blood.

“Because you’ll never know when you’ll need blood. It very well may be you that needs that blood, that needs that transfusion,” said Melissa.

During Summer, there is a bigger shortage not only because people are busy traveling and doing summer activities but also because there are fewer blood drives held at schools. Vitalant gets about 30 percent of their donations from school drives.

Click here for more on how to donate.

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