January 15, 2018

Critically Low Blood Supply Levels Concern Some Providers

stock photo

stock photo

The Indiana Blood Center says its blood supply levels across the Hoosier state are critically low.

There’s less than a two-day supply of O-negative and O-positive blood statewide. O-negative goes quickly because it’s the universal donor and is used most frequently.

Maria Keyler is the donor marketing specialist at Indiana Blood Center. She says education based drives are major contributors to the state’s blood supply.

“When high schools and colleges are out we’re not hosting blood drives,” Keyler says. “So that’s 33 percent of our blood supply that’s not available to us at that time. Which is why during the winter months and the summer months another reason why it can go low.”

Keyler says it’s not unusual l for the IBC to have a two to three day supply of blood, but these levels are making some providers nervous.

“We have less than a two day supply leaning toward less than a one day supply so without those units they’ll have to cancel surgeries, patients won’t be able to get that blood they need and kind of puts the community at risk without having those units on the shelf,” Keyler says.

Keyler says if levels go on back order, they will have to transport blood from out-of-state. That means they’ll be unable to fulfill all of their commitments to hospitals.

The IBC has three partners in Chicago, Wisconsin and Michigan that can transport blood to Indiana.

Keyler predicts blood levels will remain low throughout the week.

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