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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) — Experts say across the country there’s been a shortage in blood donations, and this week we’re seeing that problem in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Blood Center Vice President of External Relations Mandy Brajuha says initially when COVID-19 hit, there was a surge of people donating blood.

Plus, the cancellation of elective surgeries allowed the supply to last longer than it usually would. But she says that surge has dwindled over time. When elective surgeries started back up, Brajuha says the blood supply took a hit.

She says those at the Kentucky Blood Center are doing all they can to make sure elective surgeries can continue, but if the blood supply gets too low, it may have to be saved for emergencies such as situations involving trauma victims and cancer patients.

“If there’s not blood on the shelves of a hospital when an accident happens, when a trauma occurs, then that patient will not be helped, and so it’s really important not that people come out after there’s been a big trauma or a big incident where a lot of bloods been used, but that people are donating regularly when they’re eligible so that we never have a shortage on the shelves,” Brajuha said.

She says the center is taking the proper precautions to keep donors safe.

If you’re interested in helping, you can make an appointment online. Donor centers are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., as well as Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.