(Lincoln, NE) -- Nebraska Community Blood Bank declares a blood emergency.
NCBB says that while they often experience a cyclical shortage around the winter holidays, the COVID-19 pandemic — and most recently, the discovery of the new omicron variant — has exacerbated the shortage. They say there is just a 1-2 day supply available of most blood types, which is well below the ideal inventory of 5-7 days. Meanwhile, the universal donor type O negative is at a less than one-day supply.
The blood bank says since many regular donors now work from home and schools utilize hybrid or distance-learning approaches due to the ongoing OCVID-19 pandemic, blood drives at companies, schools, colleges, places of worship and community centers have seen significant declines. “In a normal year, winter can be a difficult time to maintain a stable blood supply,” said Cheryl Warholoski, Nebraska director of operations. “Unpredictable weather, cold and flu season, school breaks, family and holiday travel all contribute to making blood donations less of a priority.”
“Donating blood is the best gift you can give this holiday season,” Warholoski continued. “It takes one hour and doesn’t cost you a dime. Plus, we’ve taken extra precautions throughout the pandemic.” NCBB says staff at the blood center continue to take extra precautions to help prevent person-to-person spread of COVID-19, including continuing to wear face masks.
Interested donors can learn more about these safety precautions, find out if they’re eligible, and schedule an appointment to give here or by calling 1-877-486-9414.