RI Blood Center bracing for shortages from lack of mobile blood drives

With school plans up in the air this year, they could lose almost 8000 donations from school drives alone.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Blood Center is in dire need of donors, and is bracing for things to get worse since they usually count on the start of the school year to help stabilize the local blood supply.

Like many other things with the pandemic, the mobile blood drive model, where a drive is hosted at a local school, company workplace, or college campus, has been completely disrupted.

That’s a major problem for the RIBC because 50 percent of its supply comes from those mobile blood drives.

“They are not operating the way that they used to because organizations are not operating the way that they used to,” said Marketing and Communications Manager for RIBC Kara LeBlanc.

Historically, the blood supply is lower in the summer because school is out, but the start of the school year usually helps replenish that supply.

With school plans up in the air this year, they could lose almost 8000 donations from school drives alone.

“It’s not just gone for us, it is gone across the country,” explained LeBlanc. “Which is making it difficult for us and other blood centers to help each other out.”

LeBlanc says they need more donors and for donors to give more often, or else she says – “We’re looking at major blood shortages.”

Some of the things people can do are to make an appointment to give directly at the blood
center, or find one of the few mobile drives still going on in the community.

And if regular donors could give a few more times a year, she says it would help immensely.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest that it be there on the shelves when the doctors and nurses reach for it,” said LeBlanc. “They have enough to worry about right now without worrying about whether or not they’re going to have what they need to continue to treat patients.”

You can find more information here.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island