ERIE, Pa. - Heavy use of blood continues to outpace donations and leaves inventory depleted for local hospitals.
"We are shipping out more blood than we are collecting. The majority of hospitals have less than half of what they need for most blood types. It's the blood on the shelves that saves lives," said Steve Beeler, the executive director for the Community Blood Bank.
While there is no particular accident or trauma that explains the continued high usage in the hospitals, the lack of visibility doesn't reduce the urgent need for blood.
"If we wait to donate blood until an emergency happens, it's too late," said Dr. Jeff Richmond, the blood bank's medical director.
Upcoming blood drives include:
Monday at the American Legion from 3-6 p.m. in Frewsburg
Tuesday at WCA Hospital from 8 a.m. to noon
Thursday at the New Directions Organization from 1-5 p.m. in Randolph
Community Blood Bank partners with hospitals in Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York to provide blood for patients in need. If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. To learn more or to find a blood drive near you, visit www.fourhearts.org or call 877-842-0631.