Nebraska Community Blood Bank in short supply as pandemic continues

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 6:53 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Calling all blood donors!

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank is in desperate need of blood as the coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on their supply.

“Starting back in March when the pandemic started, we have constantly been at the 1-to-2-day supply of blood. A dangerously low supply of all different blood types,” said Kari Lundeen, community outreach representative for the blood bank.

With a supply that low - it puts more strain on an already overworked healthcare system.

“There are people who need blood every single day, whether they’re fighting cancer or a blood disease,” she said.

On Saturday, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank partnered with Lolo’s Angels.

”Lolo’s angels was established to help raise money for cancer, pediatric cancer research and to do a community outreach program,” said Phil Hacker, father of Lauren “Lolo” who created the program.

Part of that community outreach is getting people aware of the need for blood donations -something Hacker know’s a lot about.

“My daughter Lauren had AML, a form of cancer that she contracted when she was 12 years old and she’s been fighting it ever since,” he said.

Lauren is 18 years old now and in remission - but what her dad learned throughout her treatment was how essential the need for blood is.

“Events like this, like today’s blood drive, help reestablish the reserves that these cancer patients need,” Hacker said.

The whole process is a breeze -- filling out the paperwork is what takes the longest while the donation itself is quick.

“The actual blood donation itself only takes about five to 10 minutes,” Lundeen said.

Which is why Lolo’s Angels and the Nebraska Community Blood Bank are asking all eligible donors to do so.

“It’s the blood on the shelf that helps that next patient so if we can continue boosting our blood supply it would really help our hospitals and our medical staff and their patients,” Lundeen added.

You only need to be 16 years of age or older to donate and at least 110 pounds. More information on upcoming blood drives can be found at the blood bank’s website.

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