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Blood supply at critically low levels in Southeast Michigan

woman lying in chair while giving blood
Adobe Stock
Hospital officials are urging people to donate blood because of low supply

The supply of blood in southeast Michigan is critically low, blood bank officials said Wednesday.

Dr. Robertson Davenport runs the Blood Bank at Michigan Medicine.

He said both donors and Red Cross nurses have been getting sick with COVID-19, so several blood drives have been canceled.

Davenport said the Red Cross is collecting and sending enough blood for expected daily needs, but that won't cover unexpected needs, like multiple patients from a car crash.

"There isn't a reserve out there that we can draw upon," Davenport said. "If one day we don't get a good supply, then that's going to critically affect our patients."

Davenport asked people to donate blood as soon as they can, but he said staffing shortages mean they donors might need to be patient.

"I do ask to try to flexible about that scheduling," he said. "It might not be the most convenient time or location for you, but if you can possibly do it, please do."

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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