Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Blood Bank of Alaska at Critically Low Levels on Multiple Blood Types
Officials at the Blood Bank of Alaska say that blood donations are going out to hospitals just as quickly as they are coming in.
It's a pattern we see every summer. As Alaskans enjoy their long summer days, accidents tend to increase and so does the need for blood.
This summer, the Blood Bank of Alaska has experienced its longest critical shortage of blood in several years, according to Jessica Golden, public relations manager for the Blood Bank of Alaska. But it's not because people aren’t donating, it’s because the blood is going out just as quick as it’s coming in.
Blood Bank of Alaska CEO Jack Williams is asking Alaska residents to help rebuild blood inventories in order to make it through the summer safely. He says blood banks in the lower 48 are also experiencing critical blood shortages.
The Blood Bank of Alaska typically keeps 300 to 400 units of blood on their shelves for hospitals, but with a series of accidents across the state, there's a greater need for blood.
"We strive to keep a five- to seven-day inventory,” said Williams
But with such a critical shortage of blood across the United States and in Alaska, it's important for everybody to donate because every drop counts when it comes to saving a life.
"It doesn’t cost you anything and takes 30 minutes. I don’t see why not. And you feel really good afterwards," said blood donor Olga Banitch
Corbin Haldane regularly used to donate blood for years but took a break from it until a member of his own family needed blood. "Last year my daughter was in a bad car accident and she needed four units [of blood] herself. And I kind of thought I'll go donate blood again to get it back into the system."
Whole blood donors can donate blood every 56 days.
There are two Blood Bank of Alaska locations in Anchorage at 4000 Laurel Street and on the second floor of the Dimond Center.