Blood donations down during holidays, but need is great

Carter BloodCare says the number of donors making and keeping appointments is not enough to meet the daily demand of patients requiring transfusions

Blood Donations

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The holiday season is one of giving back, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the Carter BloodCare Donation Center in Tyler.

“It’s ironic that at the season of giving, people tend to give less in their donations of blood, " says Jacque Decker, Manger of Field Recruitment at the Tyler Carter BloodCare Donation Center.

She says they are short on all products, blood types and platelets, but that it is a trend they tend to see during the holidays.

“People are busy with this hustle and bustle of the holiday," she says, "and we also contend with a lot of the illnesses that go around and effect our donor base as well.”

Even though fewer people are donating, more and more people need blood this time of year. Decker says that increased travel and increased activities that lead to accidents raise the demand for blood. She also says that more people tend to schedule their elective surgeries towards the end of the year.

But, the end of the year is typically marked by colds and flu, and the Carter BloodCare donation center is very careful to make sure their donors are feeling well.

“We ask people each time they come in to donate if they feel healthy and well,” says Decker. " We ask them to opt out and also call us in the days after if they don’t feel well because we want to keep the purity of the blood supply as good as possible and keep those diseases from spreading.”

That means, with more people feeling sick, fewer people are able to donate. But according to Decker, if you are able to donate, you are able to give the greatest gift of all.

“We do want to encourage people to make appointments to donate, keep those appointments and help give people the gift of life.”

According to Carter BloodCare, you must weigh at least 110 pounds and feel well on the day of donation in order to give blood. You must also present a government-issued photo I.D. and be at least 17 years old. 16-year-olds can donate but must have the permission of a parent.

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