Center hopes blood donations remain 'steady' after drop due to wildfires

The Coffee Memorial Blood Center (CMBC) hopes to remain "steady" with incoming blood donations, following the recent Blood Emergency and loss in blood donations in the wake of the area wildfires.

According to CMBC Executive Director Brad Duggan, the organization recently suffered a major drop in blood donations due to the recent wildfires, which affected blood drives in the area as well as collections of regularly scheduled blood donations.

"Collections have been steady, but we were affected by the wildfires. We service a lot of that area, so there were several blood drives that we had to cancel in the area due to the wildfires. We have also seen an overall reduction in donations due to some of our very generous donors now helping as volunteers to remove some of the rubble and helping those that have lost their homes and businesses and more," Duggan said. "In estimation, we have lost probably over 120 donors due to the wildfires this month."

The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is accepting blood donations now to keep a "steady" influx of donations for the upcoming summer months, following a recent loss of donations during the Texas Panhandle wildfires.
The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is accepting blood donations now to keep a "steady" influx of donations for the upcoming summer months, following a recent loss of donations during the Texas Panhandle wildfires.
A donor prepares to give blood in the bloodmobile in this courtesy photo. Donations are being accepted now.
A donor prepares to give blood in the bloodmobile in this courtesy photo. Donations are being accepted now.

According to the Blood Center, 100 blood donations is equal to 300 products. On average, the center needs 125 products a day to maintain the need for an area hospital.

"The loss we saw in donations is equivalent to three days' worth of products," Duggan added.

Commonly, the Blood Center also sees a rise in need for blood during Spring Break, as more accidents occur while individuals are traveling and participating in outdoor activities. However, this year, according to Duggan, the expected spike luckily never came.

"Last week during spring break, our collections was pretty steady, and we saw little rise in need, which is amazing. ... We are now really trying to maintain that steady collection and prepare for those busy summer months, when we will also miss those donations from the high schools," Duggan said.

The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is accepting blood donations now to keep a "steady" influx of donations for the upcoming summer months, following a recent loss of donations during the Texas Panhandle wildfires.
The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is accepting blood donations now to keep a "steady" influx of donations for the upcoming summer months, following a recent loss of donations during the Texas Panhandle wildfires.

In addition to maintaining the area's needs, the center is also working to collect blood units for its blood reserve as a part of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, which is a system of blood centers throughout the United States who take turns being on call to provide the means for additional blood products in the event of emergency situations.

"We actually created this in 2021, and there is a group of blood organizations, called BERC, across the nation who hold or try to collect extra units in case there is a mass transfusion situation, which are commonly needed in situations like natural disasters, mass shootings, and the alike situations," Duggan said.

The executive director said the organization is on call in the event of these types of emergencies every other week, and he encourages any individuals interested in making a blood donation to reach out and schedule an appointment.

To find a location to donate near you and schedule an appointment, visit them online at https://www.yourbloodinstitute.org/donor/schedules/center/27 .

For more information about the CMBC, visit the website at https://ourbloodinstitute.org/where/donor-centers/coffee-memorial-blood-center/ .

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Coffee Memorial Blood Center hopes to remain 'steady' in donations