American Red Cross Reports Blood Shortage in Local Hospitals

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Health issues allow just under 40 percent of the population to give blood -- and only three percent do.

The American Red Cross said the donor percentage is down eight percent right now, which is causing a shortage in our hospitals.

"High school students are great about donating blood, and with the high schools out, we have a lot of students who are not donating blood, so this happens pretty much every summer," said Ronda Birchell, the recruitment donor representative for the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross asks those who have never donated to raise their sleeves.

"Anybody can get the Os, so if you have O-negative, O-positive, A-negative or B-negative, those are the ones we're really needing right now to help with our supply and demand," Birchell said.

Birchell said blood that's donated here goes back to our local hospitals.

Just one blood donor can end up saving three lives here in our area.

"Because they spin it down and you have your whole blood, your platelets and your plasma. So those three things go to burn, cancer and accident or surgery patients," Birchell said.

She said everyone knows someone in need of blood, including her son, who lost his life over a decade ago when the hospital ran out.

"He had so many units of blood and platelets just to keep him alive and with us, so his body could battle the bad disease of leukemia."

A woman donating Friday also understands the need.

"My husband had open heart surgery years ago, and he had to have blood transfusions then," said Judith Tourville.

The Bowling Green Bandits sponsored the drive Friday -- also for personal reasons.

"My best friend in high school -- he was in a very serious car wreck. That's one of the things that gives me the drive to go out and donate blood because he lost a lot of blood," said Matt Morris, CEO of the Bowling Green Bandits.

It takes about 45 minutes to give blood.

The Red Cross said anyone 17 or older can donate every 56 days.

If you would like to donate, the donor bus is parked at the Sloan Convention Center every Friday from 10:30 to 4:30.

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