The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and the City of Houston held a blood drive at City Hall on Wednesday.
HOUSTON – Houston hospitals are in dire need of blood donation after the coronavirus pandemic caused many banks to find donors. It is a shortage that preoccupies many medical professionals, especially during these busy summer months.
“Summer is just around the corner and this is a time for family reunions and this is a time for us to participate in summer activities – and that’s good,” said Dr. David Persse, Houston Chief Medical Officer.
“Unfortunately, it is also a time when things go wrong, people get into accidents […] We’ve had some serious car accidents, we’ve had shootings where people were in the hospital and needed blood, and they desperately need blood. “
A catastrophic incident could result in a single patient requiring up to 100 units of blood to survive, Persse said.
Not only medical emergencies, the planning of elective surgeries that have been postponed due to the pandemic is a concern.
“‘Choice’ is a relative term,” added Persee. “For the patients who got the tumor resections they needed six months ago, these operations are very, very important.”
Persse, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and representatives from the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center discussed the domino effects of blood shortages on Wednesday while the City of Houston held a blood drive at City Hall.
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, which supplies blood to more than 170 hospitals in 26 counties, had a record number of donations in 2021. A spokesman said, however, that this is still not enough, especially in hurricane season, which can easily lead to the cancellation of blood donation drives.
“Blood donations are urgently needed now and throughout the summer to ensure the availability of blood for all blood groups for needy patients,” said the mayor.
Some of the main barriers to collecting blood donations have been the significant number of people still working remotely, students out of school in the summer, and misinformation about donating blood and the COVID-19 vaccine.
The mayor also addressed rumors that vaccination against COVID-19 means a person cannot donate blood or that donating blood will reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Dr. Dirk Sostman, Houston Methodist’s Chief Academic Officer and an expert who has done extensive research into vaccine development and side effects, recently confirmed this in a VERIFY.
“With the largest medical center in the world, it’s important that we have enough blood for anyone who needs a blood transfusion,” said Turner. “You never know when you will be the person in need, so you have to donate whenever you can.”
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