Drawers are empty at Texoma blood bank - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Drawers are empty at Texoma blood bank

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The drawers are empty at Texoma Regional Blood Center. (KTEN) The drawers are empty at Texoma Regional Blood Center. (KTEN)
Tommy Caras is a loyal and regular donor at Texoma Regional Blood Center. (KTEN) Tommy Caras is a loyal and regular donor at Texoma Regional Blood Center. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Texoma Regional Blood Center has a critical need for all blood types.

Staffers say January typically brings a drop in donations, but supplies haven't been this low in 15 years. The shelves are either empty or only contain a couple of units.

As of Wednesday morning, center needed 167 pints of blood to be considered at a safe level.

"As you can see, these shelves are empty," said spokeswoman Melanie Robertson. "In order for this to be considered a safe supply, there would be at least one or two rows of blood."

And that's of each type… A negative, B positive, A-B positive… you name it, they don't have it.

"The donations aren't coming in, and the usage has increased," Robertson said. "A national issue, really, and usually if we are critical and are in desperate need of blood, we are able to import it from other blood centers, and at this point, all other blood centers are just as low as we are. We can't even import what's needed, so it's going to have to come from our community."

At this point, Texoma Regional Blood Center is counting on regular donors like Tommy Caras.

"I've given 48 times, which would be six gallons," he said. "You can give platelets every 28 days and give blood every 56."

Texoma Regional Blood Center provides the life-giving fluid for five local hospitals, and hardly ever exports it to other communities.

"It's going to come from the guy that you sit next to at the stop sign," Robertson said. "It's going to come from the people that you pass in the grocery store. The blood that you get when you're in the hospital here comes from your neighbors."

Neighbors like Tommy Caras.

"Saving a life, helping somebody out, people need it," he said.

Types O and A-B male plasma are the most critical needs right now because they're universal.

Find out how you can help by donating at a blood drive in your community, or call 903-893-4314 for more information.

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