National blood shortage impacting South Bend Medical Foundation

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:40 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Here at home, empty donation seats desperately need to be filled at South Bend Medical Foundation’s Blood Donation Center.

This donation center supplies blood to all of our area hospitals, meaning the recipients of blood donated here are our fellow community members, friends, and family.

Blood Donation Specialist MaryAnn Gast explains that the only way to save lives is to donate.

“Giving blood is so important, we can’t fake make it. it can’t be manufactured, so when we’re out of blood, we’re out of blood. if you’re not donating or your neighbor is not donating, then we’re out.”

It takes less than 40 minutes from the time you walk in to when you walk out. meaning less than an hour of your time could save multiple lives.

Long-time donor Wayne Bell says it’s the right thing to do.

“It just seems like the thing you should be doing. We did a blood drive at work more than 20 years ago. I gave then and just kept it up ever since.”

The current supply is low, especially for blood type o negative. Donors with blood Type-O negative are universal donors, often used in emergency trauma situations.

Once blood is collected, it goes to their on-site processing lab. Donor blood is tested on-site for a dozen different criteria before it goes to a recipient.

To get prepared to donate, it’s simple. Get a good night’s sleep the day before. Eat hearty, iron-rich foods like red meat, fish, eggs and green vegetables. Donate after work or on your day off if your job is strenuous. Also, avoid strenuous activity for at least 12 hours.

To learn more about donating blood, click here.