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Area hospitals could be close to blood rationing as low donor turnout continues

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Workers at The Blood Connection in Buncombe County say they’re seeing a historically low donor turnout — even lower than during the start of the pandemic last year.

Local hospitals are consuming twice as much blood as the community has donated.

The Blood Connection has expanded its hours to try to help fill the need.

Officials say if the trend continues, it could cause blood rationing — or even a blood shortage — at hospitals.

“We are actually in a worse place than we were this time last year, which was the beginning of the pandemic,” said Allie Van Dyke, media coordinator with The Blood Connection. “I know that’s hard for people to believe, but that’s what we’re seeing right now.”

TBC needs more than 800 blood donations per day to adequately supply its hospital partners in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

TBC wants the public to know that those who have received any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines can donate blood immediately.

TBC has also implemented a new COVID-19 antibody screening that will test each donor’s blood to see if it contains the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or antibodies from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. TBC’s prior antibody screening (which started before vaccines were released) only detected a donor’s natural response to the virus through exposure, whereas the new antibody screening will detect both.

To schedule an appointment either at TBC base facilities or at upcoming mobile sites, visit the “Search by Zip” page.

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Article Topic Follows: National-World

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