Aberdeen blood supply ‘dangerously low’Bad weather has resulted in a “dangerously low” blood supply in the Aberdeen area, says Stacey Majkrzak of United Blood Services, which serves northeast South Dakota, all of North Dakota and a small portion of Minnesota.
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Bad weather has resulted in a “dangerously low” blood supply in the Aberdeen area, says Stacey Majkrzak of United Blood Services, which serves northeast South Dakota, all of North Dakota and a small portion of Minnesota.
She said some donors have canceled appointments, visits to the center have dropped and some blood drives have been canceled due to rough weather this winter.
The supply is about half of what it should be, according to another official at the blood donation center.
United Blood Services needs to collect 300 units of blood a day to serve the 71 hospitals in the coverage area, Majkrzak said.
“Regardless of the time of year, the need for blood never goes away,” she said. “There are still patients who are relying on those units to survive.”
The area’s four centers — in the North Dakota cities of Fargo, Bismarck and Minot, along with Aberdeen — have been hard hit, said Majkrzak.
She said the need for blood increases during the winter. Poor road conditions contribute to accidents, and people tend to schedule more surgeries during the winter, Majkrzak said.
“This is the first time we can remember where all four of our centers have been hit by the same inclement weather,” she said. “Usually, we can rely on at least one or two of the centers to help bring in donors to make up for those lost in other locations, but that is not the case this year.”
Blood donors must be at least 16, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.
“People should try it once,” said Joell Rachel, 52, who donates blood at the center. “If they can get people to come one time, they’ll likely come back.”
Rachel said giving blood is a community service.
“I’ve never needed it, but someday I might,” she said. “You never know what will happen.”