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Donors needed as blood shortage continues in Tucson

Blood donations
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jan 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 00:08:13-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Throughout the pandemic there have been shortages of nearly everything. You can now add blood to the list as well.

The Red Cross declared their first ever blood crisis this week.

"Sometimes when they need to have blood, the blood may not be on the shelves for them," Mike Sangara, the public information officer for the Red Cross in Tucson, said. "We've had a severe shortage of blood."

Sangara said that typically they have a five-day supply of blood, but recently that supply has dwindled to around a day. College students are one of the major groups that have not donated as much.

"We've seen a decrease in donations because colleges have not had classes in person," Sangara said. "We usually have a lot of blood drives with college age students."

The Red Cross just opened a new facility across the street from the foothills mall. Bertus Van Buuren and his wife were there donating blood today.

He said they often go and feel better after they do it.

"You can actually feel a lot more energy," Van Buuren said.

He also enjoys knowing that he will be helping someone.

"They [Red Cross] can also tell us when they use our blood and where it goes," Van Buuren said. "So that's fantastic makes it closer to home."

Sangara said that each unit of blood has the potential to save up to three lives.

"We call donating blood the gift of life," Sangara added.

If you are looking to donate blood the process takes about a half hour. You can sign up for an appointment here.

The Red Cross also said that they are taking COVID-19 precautions. Some of those include requiring masks, social distancing when possible, and sanitizing stations.

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