Weather, Flu Impact Blood Donations in St. Joseph

Weather, Flu Impact Blood Donations in St. Joseph

The Community Blood Center is dealing with a shortage to start the year. Managers say weather changes and illness make it more difficult to find donors to give.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Michael Mayer has been donating blood for 20 years. He stops by the Community Blood Center in St. Joseph every two weeks to donate platelets.

So far, he's given more than 12 gallons.

"I like the idea that I've done some small contribution that could save lives," says Mayer.

The Community Blood Center is dealing with a shortage to start the year. Managers say weather changes and illness make it more difficult to find donors to give.

"Right now we've seen an increase in the flu virus. That virus is catching everybody and causing our donors to have to call and cancel or not be able to make their appointment," says Site Manager Alicia Clemons with the Community Blood Center.

Clemons says the biggest blood shortages are O, A and B negative blood types but all are needed.

The blood donated at the Community Blood Center not only stays in the community but also helps area hospitals.

"We need to collect about 600 units to be able to supply our hospitals with their daily needs and unfortunately, we are not hitting our 600 units," added Clemons.

By giving blood every eight weeks, Clemons says donors can save the lives of two people and it only takes an hour.

That keeps people like Mayer coming back to help others by giving blood.

"It's just a small part that I can do and if everybody would give blood even once a month or something it would certainly help," says Mayer.

If you'd like to donate, drop by the Community Blood Center in St. Joseph. The number to call for an appointment or more information is (816) 232-6791.

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