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San Antonio Really Needs Your Blood

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At the start of 2019 the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center reported dangerously low levels of donated blood. During the summer months blood supply can dip even lower, with donations decreasing by 20 percent.

STBTC supplies blood to 67 hospitals in 43 counties. Any shortage of blood impacts the needs of hundreds of area patients.

Blood donations are also needed for emergency and trauma patients. STBTC has partnered with several organizations to create the Brothers in Arms initiative. The program has stored whole blood product carried on San Antonio Fire Department Command Units, Local Level 1 trauma centers and 18 medical helicopters.

Whole blood product contains all major components of blood - red blood cells, platelets and plasma - and can only be stored for 35 days.  

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the American Red Cross, only 3 percent of Americans donate blood.

How much is needed to stave off a blood supply shortage? How can San Antonio increase the number of donors?

What are the requirements to become a donor? Are there other ways to help?

Guests:

  • Elizabeth Waltman, COO of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center
  • Dr. C.J. Winckler, assistant clinical professor in UT Health San Antonio's departments of emergency health sciences and emergency medicine and deputy medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. 

 

*This interview was recorded on Monday, June 17.

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.