On Tuesday the American Red Cross declared a "National blood crisis emergency," and Abilene’s Hendrick blood center says it’s also experiencing the very same severe blood crisis in the Big Country.

Abilene's Hendrick Regional Blood Center is the main blood supplier for Abilene and the surrounding area. The Hendrick Blood Center said it is in urgent need of blood donors of all types. In particular, officials asking those with O+ and O- to please donate now.

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Within the last couple of weeks, Hendrick had issued a public plea for blood donations. Hendrick officials are saying that it's going to take at least 60 to 70 blood donors per day just, to be able to keep up with the demand.

“All of the local donations made at Hendrick Regional Blood Center (HRBC) are going to local patients in the Big Country,” according to Kelsey Caprio HRBC Recruiter. Donations can be made from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 4 PM on Friday, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Saturday. The center is located at 1701 Pine Street.

Amazingly enough, for a couple of days this past week, Abilene and Big Country blood donors started lining up to give blood. Hendrick's Kelsey Caprio says it could run out of its blood supply by the end of this week unless a minimum of 60 units of blood are not donated every single day.

Officials admitted that as people stepped up to donate blood, the demand for more blood needed by area hospitals did too. A Hendrick Blood Center spokesperson said, “At this pace, we will run out and we won't make it to the end of the week.”

The American Red Cross Blames COVID-19 For The Lack Of Donations

According to American Red Cross officials, the reason for fewer donations is the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of the holidays. These factors are affecting blood donations nationwide.

Those who may have had COVID and are well now are eligible to donate, Hendrick says "as long as the person does not have symptoms, they are eligible. Also, those who have been vaccinated are eligible as well."

the nurse fastens the clip on the patients hand before the blood sampling procedure.
Kateryna Kukota
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