Birmingham dealing with dangerously low blood supply

Birmingham dealing with dangerously low blood supply
(Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Medical professionals are saying blood supply in Birmingham is dangerously low and worry transfusion services could be at risk.

The refrigerator at the transfusion wing at UAB is normally packed with blood supply. But, Alabama is experiencing a critical shortage, particularly on type O- blood units and platelets, and doctors are asking for help.

“We really need people to go and donate blood at their earliest convenience at the closest place to where they live," says Marissa Marques, Medical Director at UAB Transfusion Services.

Marques says platelets, which doctors say acts as a bandage for the body to stop bleeding, are more difficult to keep up with because they are only good for five days after they are donated and tested for disease.

UAB is a level one adult trauma center in Alabama, and it’s very important they maintain a healthy supply. Type-O is the most important blood type because anyone can accept a transfusion using type-O.

“We have to continuously collect them, and our usage is so high right now and the donors for whatever reason are not going. So, we’re facing a double challenge. We have fewer donors and more need.” says Marques.

Blood specialist are asking folks to go to The American Red Cross Donation Center and LifeSouth Community Blood Center to donate.

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