Nebraska Community Blood Bank calls for donations amid shortage

(Undated) -- A Nebraska blood bank is encouraging donations as they continue to face an ongoing shortage of blood and platelets.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank says they only have about a one day to two day supply of each blood type due to the challenges of recruiting blood donors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

NCBB says the need for blood is constant, but due to the pandemic, many drives have been canceled or postponed. To replenish supplies for the Northland’s hospitals, trauma centers, and air ambulance bases, more healthy donors are needed at blood drives and donor centers in the coming weeks.

The blood bank says before COVID-19, donors could stop by community blood drives, and that since having to cancel the drives at the beginning of the pandemic, fewer than 50% have been able to resume their events. NCBB says despite the decrease in blood drives and blood donations, patients in community hospitals continue to need transfusions.

A small number of community blood drives have resumed with enhanced precautions, and NCBB is strongly encouraging donors to make appointments to visit a blood drive or donor center. “It’s been a year since we began implementing significant safety protocols at our donor centers. We have extended those safety measures at the community blood drives that have been able to restart,” said Kathy Geist, Senior Executive Director, Nebraska Community Blood Bank.

In general, you may be eligible to donate if you are:

  • In good health
  • 17 years or older— or 16 with written parental consent (PDF available on NCBB.ORG)
  • At least 110 pounds
  • Free of antibiotics for 24 hours, unless taken for preventative reasons
  • Symptom-free for at least 72 hours following a cold or flu

Appointments can be made online at NCBB.ORG or by calling 1-877-486-9414.

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