Nebraska Community Blood Bank Announces Blood Emergency

(KFOR NEWS  December 10, 2021)   Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) is in a blood emergency.

While the local blood center often experiences a cyclical shortage around the winter holidays, the COVID-19 pandemic—and most recently, the discovery of the new omicron variant—have exacerbated this shortage.  There is just a 1-2 day supply available of most blood types, well below the ideal inventory of 5-7 days, and the universal donor type O negative (O-) is at a less than one-day supply.  Blood centers across the country have experienced shortages for much of the nearly 2 years since COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. Since many regular donors now work from home and schools utilize hybrid or distance-learning approaches, blood drives at companies, schools, colleges, places of worship, community centers and so on have seen significant declines.

“In a normal year, winter can be a difficult time to maintain a stable blood supply,” said Cheryl Warholoski, Nebraska director of operations. “Unpredictable weather, cold and flu season, school breaks, family and holiday travel all contribute to making blood donations less of a priority.”

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread or contracted through blood donation or transfusion.

“Donating blood is the best gift you can give this holiday season,” Warholoski continued. “It takes one hour and doesn’t cost you a dime. Plus, we’ve taken extra precautions throughout the pandemic.” Staff at the blood center continue to take extra precautions to help prevent person-to-person spread of COVID-19, including continuing to wear face masks.

Interested donors can learn more about these safety precautions, find out if they’re eligible, and schedule an appointment to give at NCBB.ORG or by calling 1-877-486-9414.  Appointments are preferred to maintain social distancing and to help manage wait times.  Find a time and location that works for you to donate at NCBB.ORG/donate.

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