Rhode Island Blood Center urgently calling for donations

A dip in donations and a recent spike in trauma patients have combined to push the area’s blood supply to dangerously low levels.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Blood Center is putting out an urgent message.  An ongoing dip in donations, plus a recent increase in trauma patients, means the blood supply in our area is dangerously low.  They need blood donors to step up right now and in the future.

Kara LeBlanc with the Rhode Island Blood Center says, “We really don’t go out on blood emergency appeal unless it is really that bad, and it is that bad right now.”

The blood center says at any given time, they have just a 1 to 2 day supply of type O blood on hand.  At Rhode Island Hospital, the state’s only level 1 trauma hospital, they sometimes have less than half a day’s supply.

LeBlanc says, “One patient who needs that in trauma can use 40 units of blood within 80 minutes.  It will take 40 people, 40 donors to make up for that supply.”

According to LeBlanc, instead of one big problem, they’ve been dealing with a perfect storm of smaller reasons why people aren’t stepping up to donate.  Those reasons include, among others: hesitancy over the delta variant, spending more time outdoors during the summer instead of making appointments, and people who make appointments then don’t show up.  She also points to a recent increase in trauma patients at area hospitals.

LeBlanc says, “Trauma surgeons have to treat who is in front of them, no matter what the cause, whether it’s a car accident, stabbing, shooting, and in the meantime, we also need to maintain the supply for all of the other people that need it.”

She says the only solution is for local donors to come forward and donate as soon as possible, and make their next appointment right then and there.

LeBlanc says, “If everyone did that, not just here but across the country, we would solve this problem.”

For more information or to book an appointment, visit their website: https://www.ribc.org/

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Categories: News, Rhode Island