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M.D. Anderson Blood Center ‘seriously limited’ in blood, seeking donors this weekend

HOUSTON – The M.D. Anderson Blood Center is putting out a call for donors, as supplies of blood and blood products dwindle going into the holiday weekend.

Cancer patients require huge amounts of blood, and the M.D. Anderson Hospital probably uses more blood products than any other hospital in the country.

Maintaining an adequate supply is always a struggle, but the process is even more difficult due to COVID-19.

“We cannot do the blood drives we used to do where we go to churches, high schools... So we are seriously limited on the collection of blood,” said Dr. Fernando Martinez.

Even more, donations typically drop off around the Fourth of July holiday. Workers at the hospital’s blood center are working overtime this week to enlist badly needed donors.

“We really need donors to step up, come and donate,” Martinez said. “We don’t have enough blood for our patients.”

Diane Cameron came to give blood Wednesday. She said she has a personal stake in it. Her nephew is battling Leukemia and typically needs two transfusions a day.

However, his treatment has been delayed because not enough blood is available.

“It’s scary that he’s not able to get the treatment he needs because there’s a shortage of blood,” Cameron said.

To collect more blood, the MD Anderson Blood Center at 2555 Holly Hall Street near the Texas Medical Center is expanding its capacity of the weekend. Donations are completed by appointment only. Masks and social distancing are required.

“On a daily basis, we need hundreds of units,” said M.D. Anderson Community Representative Gilda Hart. “We really can’t get enough. We need all the blood we can get right now.”

To make an appointment to donate blood, visit www.mdandersonbloodbank.org.