Critical blood shortage at MD Anderson

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - There is a critical blood shortage at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital.

MD Anderson provides more daily blood transfusions than any other hospital in the country, and a lot of patients depend on those transfusions, patients like 5-year-old Kyssi Andrews.

Kyssi has been battling cancer since she was 3-years-old. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and needs regular transfusions of blood platelets. Kyssi has had 59 transfusions so far.

Kyssi told Local 2, "It feels nice and good," after she gets a transfusion.

About a year ago, Kyssi's mom says her little girl was given a 40 percent chance of survival, but Kyssi is beating the odds.

"She's always walking around, she's so friendly, she's always smiling," said Marla Jones, Kyssi's mom.

Kyssi is only one of thousands of MD Anderson patients who depend on donated blood. The hospital transfuses about 600 units of donated blood and blood products each day.

"We need it, these babies need it, the hospital needs it," said Jones.

Donations are down because of the holidays. The hospital's blood stocks are critically shorts.

"We need 40 to 50 donors every day donating platelets," said Gary Griffin, MD Anderson Blood Bank Director.

The hospital is currently rationing transfusions, forcing some patients to wait longer for the blood they need. More donors are badly needed in the next few weeks.

"We need blood products from people during this time badly," said Griffin.

"I just hope that someone sees this and agrees that I need to give blood," said Jones.

The Blood Donation Center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be open half a day on Christmas.

The Anderson Blood Center is located at 2555 Holly Hall near Reliant Park, just call (713) 792-7777.

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