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Blood emergency declared; officials plead with public to donate

Memorial Blood Centers announced the blood emergency Monday, pleading with the public to help replenish an already low supply made worse by the COVID pandemic.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 March 8, 2022.

A Minnesota-based nonprofit is sounding the alarm about blood shortages, saying the current supply is well below ideal inventory.

Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) announced the blood emergency Monday, pleading with the public to help replenish an already low supply made worse by staffing shortages largely brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We do want people to set appointments for this week, and also schedule repeatedly throughout the summer and into the fall to replenish the reserves to help meet the needs of the community,” Kathy Geist, senior executive director, said.

MBC says the current level now stands at a two- to three-day supply, while type O and platelets are at a one- to two-day supply. MBC says ideally, inventory would be at a five to seven-day level.

“We are coming into a traditionally challenging time of year for blood donations with spring break and pre-summer activities preempting a regular appointment schedule. Normally we would head into the season with a strong blood supply, but we approach it now with alarmingly low reserves,” said Geist.

According to MBC, a single blood donation can save up to three lives. 

If you'd like to give blood, you can set up an appointment with MBC at 888-448-3253, or visit the organization's website.

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