How you can help the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - We just started the new year and already blood donations in south Texas are 400 donations behind.

This number is leaving the community with less than a half day supply of blood for patients in area hospitals.

"We don't have enough blood to support what the hospitals are asking for,” said Lisa Guzman, recruiter for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center.

With local schools and businesses off for the holidays, there were no blood drives scheduled in three of the first seven days of the month. That also includes December, putting a dramatic strain on the blood supply.

"The kids from high school, they were out so we haven't seen them for three weeks, and then there's a lot of people who took vacations during the holiday.”

This low blood supply can lead to hospitals postponing surgeries and treatments.

"We use these units when we have trauma, of course,” said Edna Solis. “Sometimes a trauma can take at least 10-15 units of blood at a time and that's just one patient."

Edna Solis is the director of lab services at Laredo Medical Center, and her staff is hard at work making sure whatever is on stock is eligible for their patients. However, right now the hospital is also seeing a low number of blood donations.

"We normally have at least 35 O-positive on the shelves and we are not at that level right now."

Right now, they are going to need 1,400 donations by Friday. Not just for LMC, but for the entire south Texas region. One donation that you make can save up to three lives.

That is why the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center and all hospitals in south Texas are counting on you to do your part.

"It's a little painful, but it's not anything unbearable. But just think about the people you are going to be helping and one day it might be your family member."

South Texas patients are also needing more type O-positive blood, which orders for that type of blood increased by 17% in 2019.

If you would like help, the next blood drive will take place this Saturday, January 11th at San Martin De Porres Church from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Upcoming Blood Drives in Laredo:
Saturday, January 11, 2020
San Martin De Porres Church
1701 Sandman
In the parking lot – 10:00AM – 2:30PM

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Martin High School
2002 San Bernardo
Inside the Batey Gym – 9:00AM – 2:30PM