According to its website, the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood components 24/7 to more than 170 hospitals and health care facilities in the 26-county Texas Gulf Coast region. The blood center needs about 1,000 blood donations per day to serve its jurisdiction, as blood is vital for surgeries, organ transplants and trauma patients. Additionally, cancer patients need platelets while undergoing chemotherapy, and those with blood diseases need transfusions regularly.
In addition to the loss of blood units, the winter storm also put the blood center behind on donation collections as blood drives were canceled and donation centers had to close due to the inclement weather and subsequent widespread power outages, a Feb. 18 news release stated.
"We're at the point where hospitals will need to postpone non-life threatening procedures that require blood to help conserve the supply for those emergency and life-threatening needs," said Theresa Pina, vice president of operations at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, in a statement.
According to Moran, the blood center's biggest needs at the moment are blood donations from the community, particularly O positive blood donors, as this type is mainly used in trauma and emergency surgical procedures. Churches, businesses and community centers can also help with this effort by hosting blood drives to help replenish the blood supply.
According to the blood center's website, people who have had a COVID-19 vaccine may still donate blood, and all blood donations are tested for the COVID-19 antibody.
To schedule a blood donation appointment, click here. To sign up to host a blood drive, click here.