‘We are in a shortage’: South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in critical need of donations

By Priscilla Aguirre

Victor Castillo, 32, sets up Michelle Martinez, 36, who is donating blood Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The city and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are holding a three-day blood drive at the Alamodome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 21-23.

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Victor Castillo, 32, sets up Michelle Martinez, 36, who is donating blood Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The city and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are holding a three-day blood drive at the Alamodome from 9

… more

Photo: Jerry Lara /Staff Photographer

Photo: Jerry Lara /Staff Photographer

Victor Castillo, 32, sets up Michelle Martinez, 36, who is donating blood Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The city and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are holding a three-day blood drive at the Alamodome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 21-23.

less

Victor Castillo, 32, sets up Michelle Martinez, 36, who is donating blood Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The city and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are holding a three-day blood drive at the Alamodome from 9

… more

Photo: Jerry Lara /Staff Photographer

‘We are in a shortage’: South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in critical need of donations

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is running low on its blood supply, a cause for concern now that non-emergency surgeries are happening again, the center’s chief operating officer said Sunday during the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 briefing.

Elizabeth Waltman said the center has just over a two-day supply of blood. She added the blood center had about a seven to eight-day supply when non-emergency surgeries were not allowed during the shelter-in-place order.

READ MORE: The latest news and features about coronavirus in San Antonio

“It has not been at the same levels as we were before people were staying at home,” she said in the briefing. “We are in a shortage … All these (non-emergency) surgeries aren’t trauma cases … and they are being scheduled and they are using quite a bit of blood.”

The center estimates it needs 500 donors a day to keep up with the current demand for South Texas patients. Waltman said the demand for blood has increased by 40 percent since non-emergencies have resumed.

To help increase the supply, the center is hosting a blood drive at the Alamodome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 21-23. Those who wish to donate need to make an appointment. For more information, click here.

The center will give each donor a $10 H-E-B gift card. Donors can elect not to take the card and to have the funds donated to the San Antonio Food Bank instead

“Donating blood is one of the best ways we can help our community during these difficult times, and the need is urgent,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in the briefing. “The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed our blood supply in many ways. I encourage everyone to support our neighbors by donating during the Alamodome blood drive. Blood donations truly help save lives.”

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for MySA.com | priscilla.aguirre@express-news.net | @CillaAguirre 

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