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Less than a day’s supply of blood available to help hospitals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Versiti Blood Center of Indiana made an emergency appeal for blood donations.

Kristin Paltzer, the public relations manager for the blood center, said they have less than a day’s supply of blood available to help hospital patients across the state.

Paltzer said one donation can save three lives. That’s something Melvin Lathrop has kept in mind.

“I try to give at least every other week,” explained Lathrop.

As a regular blood donor, Lathrop said he started giving platelets years ago after his father was diagnosed with cancer.

“You know, I’ve known a lot of people. My sister-in-law died of cancer,” he said. “So, I know it’s good for cancer patients and that’s why I do it.”

Jeff Dorn, another donor, said he donates every six weeks.

“You always hear of the shortages and I want to help out the best I can,” explained Dorn.

Penny Schroeder, the vice president of the blood center, said they are at a critical blood shortage.

“Indiana needs to collect about 2,500 units of blood a week to meet the needs of patients in Hoosier hospitals,” said Schroeder. “We serve over 90 hospitals here, so we really need folks to come out and donate.”

She said the reason supply is low is because people are sick and not coming to donate.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, Schroeder said you must wait 14 days after your symptoms are gone to donate. Also, you must wait two full days after you get the COVID-19 vaccine before you donate.