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Baylor Scott & White urgently needs blood donations

Baylor Scott & White says it is in urgent need of blood donations after last week's winter storm.
Baylor Scott & White says it is in urgent need of blood donations after last week's winter storm.(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:17 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - After last week’s winter storm, Baylor Scott & White said there is an urgent need for blood and platelet donations.

Debra Boyer, supervisor of donor recruitment for the Baylor Scott & White Blood Center, said many appointments were either rescheduled or canceled last week because of the weather.

Boyer adds even some future drives are being rescheduled because of damage around the community.

The hospital uses blood and platelets for a variety of different medical treatments. Boyer said platelets, which have a shelf life of five to seven days, are used in cancer treatments and to help with chronic illnesses.

If people don’t start coming in to donate blood, Boyer said the hospital could end up in a critical need situation.

“Blood is an essential medicine that can’t be created in any other way, it has to come from healthy volunteer donors,” Boyer said.

“And if we are unable to obtain those products, then yes, that could create a critical situation for the patient needing treatment.”

Boyer said the hospital was able to get some of the needs filled by the American Red Cross last week, but because it’s a nationwide organization, the Red Cross doesn’t always have what the hospital needs.

Boyer said that’s why the hospital is hoping to get regular donations from people in Central Texas.

“Having a healthy community blood supply that’s readily available to come in and donate when needed means that we are more quickly able to obtain blood products for patients,” Boyer said.

Right now, the hospital is looking for all blood types. If people are interested in donating, they need to be at least 17 years old and bring a photo ID. Boyer also suggests eating a good meal and coming in well-hydrated for a better donation experience.

Donors should come prepared to answer questions about their lifestyle and travel history, as well as go through a mini physical, since the FDA sets criteria for blood donors.

Boyer said appointments are recommended because of the pandemic. Appointments for blood donation can be made online at bswblood.com. There are additional requirements for platelet donors, and anyone interested in donating platelets can call 877-724-4376.

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