SuperTalk Mississippi

Blood banks asking for help due to empty shelves

FLOWOOD, Miss.- The Mississippi Blood Services said they are in critical need of blood donors. According to Public Relations and Communications Manager Merle Eldridge last Wednesday they went into crisis level inventory. 

Eldridge explained that a critical situation has been ongoing with hospitals calling regularly in need of more units.

“We were having hospitals calling us considering postponing elective surgeries to save the blood that they did have. Our shelves were literally bare,” said Eldridge.

The good news, when Mississippi Blood Services reached out to the community, people showed up.

“The community has stepped up. We had an unbelievable response on Friday and Saturday. So, we are super thankful for them,” said Eldridge.

However, the blood supply in the state is not in the clear yet. Just one day later the MBS was made aware of a critical need for AB positive or negative blood for a local resident battling a rare blood disorder, TTP (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura).

Nicole Jones, a wife, mother, and teacher in the Rankin County area was diagnosed in 2014. TTP is a rare blood disorder that causes strokes. Jones has had multiple strokes since being diagnosed.

The hard part about helping Nicole is that AB blood type is incredibly rare. Eldridge said that only about four percent of the population are AB positive or negative and that narrowing down who can donate to fill the need is not an easy task.

“We’ve literally been searching the country trying to find those donors to come in and donate in Nicole’s honor,” said Eldridge.

January is often a difficult time for any blood location to stock it’s shelves. Eldridge said that is because people are adjusting to the new year and just coming off the holidays. But recently the weather that Mississippi has been experiencing has also caused problems for people who are trying to come out and donate.

“It’s hard for donors to get out when they are concerned about their safety, or would rather be snuggled up at home in a safe place. That has really compounded what was already a pretty critical situation,” said Eldridge.

The universal blood type, O negative, is always needed. This means it can be given to anyone in an emergency situation.

For more information on how to donate please visit Mississippi Blood Services website.

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