Augusta blood centers low on all blood types

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March 30, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A national shortage of blood has blood centers scrambling for donors. Many hospitals are in critical need of type O blood.

Here in Augusta, centers say all blood types are low.

Statistics show every two seconds someone is need of blood...but in order to save a life, that blood needs to be ready before it's ever needed.

For Brenda Green and her husband, giving blood has never been a priority.

"We gave blood, but never on a regular basis," Brenda said.

That was until February 16, the day her whole life would be turned upside down.

"You don't think about it until it happens to you."

About two months ago, Brenda's husband had an ATV accident. His legs were pinned under the vehicle for 27 hours. Doctors say he was just moments away from dying.

"It could happen to all of us," Brenda said.

That's why Brenda says she's telling her story now, in a desperate plea to get the community to donate--especially during a time when the country faces a critical shortage.

"You never know when your loved one will need it," she said.

At the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the need for blood is even higher, because burn patients require more blood than the average trauma victim.

"When you debride patients, they require a lot of blood," Beth Frits told News 12. Debridement is the surgical removal of dead skin.

Statistics show severe burn victims like Brenda's husband can need 20 pints of platelets during their treatment in order to prevent more bleeding.

"That unit you donate is split into three products: red blood cells, platelets and plasma," said Pamela Rascon of Shepeard Community Blood Center. "Burn victims can use all three parts."

Despite all our medical advances, there's no artificial substitute for human blood.

Shepeard Community Blood Center only has 75 pints of O+ blood and 14 pints of O- blood right now. To put that into perspective, for a three-day supply, Shepeard needs at least 230 pints of O+ and at least 60 pints of O- blood.

Your donation of one pint of blood can save three lives.

Here in the Augusta area, blood centers say they're not only facing a shortage of type O blood, but they're also in need of all other blood types.

All of the blood donated to the Shepeard Community Blood Center will help save the lives of people right here in our own community.

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