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Versiti Blood Center struggles for donations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Versiti Blood Center of Indiana says the need for blood donations is at a critical level, pleading for donors to come in.

In a typical week the blood center needs 2,900 people to donate to supply Indiana hospitals, but currently they say they’re not close to that number.

Dr. Dan Waxman is the Vice President and Senior Medical Director for Versiti. He says with the recent holidays, it has been more difficult getting the necessary donations.

Waxman says hospitals are getting sent blood on a case by case situation because of the low level of donations.

He says if a hospital calls and wants 20 units of blood, the blood center may only be able to offer them ten units instead.

The city of Indianapolis has three level one trauma centers that rely heavily on blood supplies. The lack of donations has leaders worried.

“We just don’t want to get to a situation where a patient is in the hospital and they don’t have the products to make it through their procedure. The people we treat might be someone you never met. You never know. It could be a neighbor it could be a relative, it could be someone very close to you, so this is something we’re in a dire need for and we really need people to come out and donate,” Waxman said.

The process to donate blood is very simple, it only takes about an hour from the sign in process to the end of the donation.

Anyone 17 and older can donate.

Each blood donation can be turned into three different products, meaning you’re saving up to three lives with your donation.

You can either make an appointment to donate, or you can walk in as well.