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UC Faces Critical Blood Shortage

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UC Faces Critical Blood Shortage

The Upper Cumberland region faces critical blood shortages and needs your help to fill the gap.

Blood Assurance Medical Director Dr. Liz Culler said fears of donating during a pandemic and schools and workplaces not hosting blood drives have both contributed.

“This is actually unprecedented,” Culler said. “This is a nation wide shortage, and I have worked for Blood Assurance for 14 years, and I have never seen a shortage like this one.”

Culler said every single type of blood is needed, but O positive is number one on the list. Cookeville Regional Medical Center only has 55 type O positive red cells on hand.

“At the beginning of the day, we started out with 13 O positive units on the shelf,” Culler said. “However, I do not want anyone to panic because all the hospitals keep inventory on their shelves. So, it is not like that is all the blood available in the community. However, we always want to be proactive because any blood we collect today goes to tomorrow’s patients.”

Blood Assurance is located in Chattanooga and serves every hospital in a two hour radius. Culler said the organization is the exclusive blood provider for Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

“Whenever Blood Assurance has some extra units, we do some missionary work, and we help people in other areas. And, they in turn help us when we are in need,” Culler said. “Right now, pretty much every blood center in the country is having the same thing, so we can not help each other out.”

Culler said the organization is working by appointment only with limited capacity for social distancing.

Anyone interested in donating blood can download the BA quick screen app and answer all preliminary questions before going to a Blood Assurance location. Visit or call 800-962-0628 or text BAGIVE to 999777 to schedule an appointment.


The post UC Faces Critical Blood Shortage appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.