Hospital facing blood donation shortage in Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff Medical Center is having issues getting blood donations.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 3:39 PM CDT
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - There is an urgent need for blood donations this summer.

Donations across the nation are down and it has hospitals and first responders concerned.

This includes Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

They report the hospital is finding it difficult to get blood donations.

According to emergency management workers, this type of shortage it can affect they way they respond to emergencies.

“Tornadoes, pandemics, earthquakes, it’s just day to day things, that we know we communicate well with one another so when that disaster is in, we can provide needed resources to one another,” said Butler County Emergency Management Director Robbie Myers.

Myers goes on to say it’s times like this where it’s crucial to partner with local health services.

Depending on the situation, an emergency room can use 15 to 25 units of blood, depending on the situation.

Getting blood donors has been on short supply during the pandemic.

“The total number of donors has decreased after the pandemic because of different types of fears that go along with potentially getting someone’s blood that had COVID, or not,” explains Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center CEO Rick Naegler. “I think it’s actually decreased the total number of donors thus making it very important and actually scary at times to not have the emergency blood supply on hand. Right now, the most important type would be the emergency response type blood.”

It’s also important to have the right type of blood, but one type is needed more.

“The first line of defense for patients when we don’t know their blood type is O negative blood, and there’s a very limited supply of O negative blood right now,” said Poplar Bluff Medical Center Director of Surgical Services Ashley Lepold. “Blood drives are critical to what we do.”

In hopes to build up their blood supply and to prepare for that worst case scenario, the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center held a blood drive on Friday, July 15.

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