By Dennis Williams, KBC Medical Director
The blood on the shelf is what is needed in an emergency, and Kentucky Blood Center continually shares that message with donors. It often takes an actual emergency, however, to get people to roll up their sleeves.
That was apparent this year during the devastating hurricanes and Las Vegas mass shooting. Kentuckians came to blood drives and donor centers wanting to help those in need in Texas, Miami and Las Vegas. Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) definitely saw an uptick in donations.
Now it’s time for the holidays and winter weather and cold and flu season – a time when the blood supply can take a hit because of fewer donors.
People are busy this month with holiday parties, shopping and family time. They tend to forget about things like donating blood. Schools are on vacation, too, and factories and businesses slow down or close for days at a time so many dependable blood drives don’t happen this month.
It’s also cold and flu season and time for winter weather, additional issues that can keep people from donating. While last winter was fairly mild, other winters have hit the region with a vengeance, shutting down schools, businesses, roads and sometimes our donor centers. We don’t know what this year will bring, but we need to be prepared with plenty of blood on the shelves in case of harsh weather or an exceptionally strong flu season.
Please share with your patients, medical staff, family and friends, as well as your social network, that it’s essential for people to continue donating blood this month and into the New Year. In short, life happens and we need to be prepared. While it may not be a major storm or an attack in Kentucky, we know that traumas, surgeries, cancer and medical treatments happen every day, and require blood components.
Thank you and best wishes from Kentucky Blood Center for a happy, healthy 2018.