LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Blood banks are critically low across the country

According to Kentucky Blood Center, the organization needs 400 donors a day to meet hospital needs.

However, the recent snow and COVID-19 surges have forced cancellations of blood drives in the Bluegrass.

Logan Morford, director of donor communication at Kentucky Blood Center, said whenever supply on the shelves are low, it’s a challenge to find blood from another state to supplement what the organization needs. He adds, “so that’s really how a national blood shortage impacts us here locally.”

Kentucky’s hospitals are seeing a dramatic rise in blood transfusions. The state’s need for blood has increased. Kentucky Blood Center aims to meet that need by hosting eight to fourteen blood drives a day, but the weather and pandemic have caused recent cancellations. The organization relies heavily on its several-hundred donors who consistently donate every chance they can.

“We have a pretty loyal group that comes right on in without us having to contact them. Those folks really make sure that our blood supply is where it needs to be,” said Morford.

In an effort to increase supply and attract more donors, the center is gifting everyone a sweatshirt after they donate blood.

If you’re healthy, you can donate blood every 56 days. However, if you test positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing viral symptoms, you’ll have to wait until you’re well to give blood.