Demand for blood continues to be at an all-time high

The executive director of the Community Blood Bank in Sioux Falls said demand is up 25% for blood right now.
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:51 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The executive director of the Community Blood Bank, Ken Versteeg, said the blood supply is already down 25% because the blood bank isn’t able to collect as much blood right now. During a blood drive event, staff and patients have to follow CDC guidelines like social distancing, so they’re not able to get as many donors as they normally would in an hour. Combine that with the fact that demand is up 25% is creating the perfect storm for a significant blood shortage. Local hospitals have increased their use of blood, which is another factor in the shortage.

Versteeg said many people have decided not to seek treatment during the pandemic, and it’s been revealed they have an underlying health condition. When they go to the hospital to get treated, they’re requiring blood.

”We’re seeing an all-time high in blood usage right now, and we don’t see an end to it,” he said. He and his staff are worried with the holidays coming up as well because there’s generally always been a decrease in donations around that time.

There are several donation drives happening in the region to help with the supply. On Wednesday, both Ace Hardware stores in Harrisburg and Brandon are having one. Another is happening Thursday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Brookings. You can find a full list of blood drives happening in the upcoming weeks on the blood bank’s calendar here. People can always donate at the donor rooms at Avera or Sanford. Anyone will need to make an appointment if they’d like to donate at the donor rooms or at a blood drive event.

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