Hastings, NE - A winter shortage of blood donations could cost people their lives.
Local hospitals are doing what they can to keep blood on reserve, but they need some extra help making sure the demand for blood doesn't outweigh the supply.
If it wasn't for the help of regular blood donors Mary Lanning Healthcare wouldn't be able to help those who are in dire need of blood.
The hospital's blood bank workers say that in times of crisis people are usually willing to make the trip to blood donation centers, but on a typical day, especially during winter, donations lag. And this has major consequences.
"The problem is the patients that are receiving transfusions are getting what's in the bank at the time they arrive at the hospital. We can't wait for blood to be collected and tested and brought in," said Ann McCord, Lead Technologist in Transfusion Medicine at Mary Lanning Healthcare.
A little prick of the needle and a few minutes of your time can have a big impact.
"When you think of blood you think of the red cells but with every donation they make other components out of it that could be life-saving...in the trauma or the OB hemorrhage where you need to help not only give them red cells but give them other products that can help them clot and stop the bleeding," said Dr. Adam Horn, Laboratory Medical Director at Mary Lanning Healthcare.
When you go to a blood donation center you probably automatically assume your donation is going to either a hospital or medical center, but where exactly is it going?
Turns out that if you download the American Red Cross donor app you can actually track your blood after it's sent off.
The app not only allows you to see the journey of your donation, but to also learn more about donating blood and to schedule your next donation appointment.