Nationwide blood shortage prompts calls for donations in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Each blood donation can save up to three lives but, since the pandemic, there has been a shortage of blood donations across the country.

"The hospitals right now have about a day’s worth of blood on the shelves," said Evelyn Rosado with Vitalant. "They’re having to start making those really difficult decisions whether to keep the surgeries that have been scheduled for months or to go ahead and reschedule those and then start saving the blood for emergencies."

Over the past two years, New Mexico has seen a 25% decrease in blood donations, which is even more concerning because other states actually rely on New Mexico for donations too.

"We are one of the main hubs," Rosado explained. "A lot of the other states look to us whenever there’s an emergency, so we can take our blood and we distribute it to other places."

This means that, if New Mexico is seeing numbers this low, Rosado says, "you know that everywhere else is really suffering."

Vitalant is urging those who qualify to make an appointment. An online questionnaire will tell you if you are eligible to give blood. If you are, you can donate up to six times a year.

"We social distance and masks are required – although we don’t ask for vaccinations right now," Rosado said. "Anybody can come and donate whether vaccinated or not."

KOB will be hosting a hotline, Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., set up to answer questions and help people sign up.

You can find more information about signing up by clicking here.