San Antonio in extreme blood shortage

South Texas in desperate need of blood donations

SAN ANTONIO - January is National Blood Donor Month, and in South Texas, we are frequently in blood shortages. That is also the case at the beginning of 2017. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center said the time period during the holidays and right after is the toughest time of the year for donations.

A group of seniors at the Del Webb Hill Country retreat wanted to do something about it by holding a blood drive.

"So many residents here have had husbands, wives or children that have needed blood transfusions. This is our way of giving back to our community, and we are proud to do it," said resident Margie O'Connell, who organized the event.

They said they are proud to do it when the Red Cross needs it most. Winter is typically the slowest season for blood donations, but last year, the organization reported a nationwide shortage of 37,000 donations in November and December alone.

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center needs 600 units a day to support the local need.

"We really need their help because our donations in South Texas have been declining every year," said Jessica Van Zijll of the South Texas Blood And Tissue Center.

About 50 residents came out to donate blood Monday at the Del Webb Hill Country Retreat. Their age wasn't a factor. "You have to weigh at least 110," O'Connell said.

"There is no upper age limit to donate, so we do have a lot of the older population that comes and donates,  especially the baby boomers. They are our biggest generation of donators," said Van Zill.

"I've always donated blood in the past whenever I had the opportunity. It's easier than working in the yard because I get wounded out there about 15 times," said donor Mike Mouser.

"They are happy to give back to the community and support San Antonio. San Antonio gives us so much, and we want to give back," O'Connell said.

The blood and tissue center said San Antonio is currently in need of O Negative and O Positive. To find out where to donate, visit the center's website.

(© 2017 KENS)


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