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MD Anderson, Gulf Coast Blood Center are desperate for blood donations after winter storm

The deadly storm dramatically impacted the blood supply because they weren't able to collect donations last week.
Credit: Red Cross

HOUSTON — The MD Anderson Blood Bank and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center are putting out an urgent plea for blood and platelet donors. 

Both say last week's winter storm disrupted their ability to collect blood donations, as well as their suppliers' ability to ship it.

MD Anderson Blood Bank

MD Anderson needs blood and platelets for their cancer patients. Many of them need platelets while they’re undergoing chemotherapy.  

They're asking donors to help boost the supply by scheduling an appointment to donate this week. For more information, visit the Blood Bank website or call 713-792-7777.

Due to our response to COVID-19, all blood donations at MD Anderson Blood Donor Center locations are being held by appointment only to help control donor flow and manage the amount of individuals in one room. For safety reasons, children are not allowed during the donation. This is an institutional policy for COVID-19.

The MD Anderson Blood Bank is located at 2555 Holly Hall Street. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No walk-ins permitted due to social distancing precautions.

Platelet donors - Don't take any aspirin or aspirin-containing products (advil, motrin, nuprin, ibuprofen, aleve, excedrin) or herbal supplements (ginger, ginkgo-biloba, ginseng) during the 48 hours prior to your donation.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center said they have less than one day's supply of blood because of the brutally cold weather last week. They say more than 3,000 blood units were lost due to blood drive cancelations and center closures and the number continues to rise. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center needs about 1,000 blood donations a day to serve hospitals in the community. 

“We are at a point where hospitals will need to postpone non-life threatening procedures that require blood to help conserve the supply for those emergency and life-threatening needs,” says Theresa Pina, Vice President of Operations at The Blood Center.

Every week, thousands of area patients need blood to survive. People with blood diseases need transfusions regularly. Blood is vital during surgeries, organ transplants, and for trauma patients. 

The Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood components 24/7 to more than 170 hospitals and health care facilities in a 26-county Texas Gulf Coast region.  

The Blood Center has an immediate need for two things: blood drive Hosts and blood donors.

Those who are feeling healthy and well should check giveblood.org for an available appointment. The donation process is quick, easy and can be done at any Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center location. People who have had a COVID-19 vaccine may still donate blood. Additionally, all blood donations are tested for the COVID-19 antibody.

Churches, businesses, and community groups with power and water can contact the blood center to host a blood drive in their community.  Hosting a blood drive is free, and you can impact the lives of many.  

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