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Alabama hospitals face severe blood shortage, need donations

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama hospitals are facing a severe blood shortage and have a critical need for donations, an organization of state hospitals said.

The Alabama Hospital Association said the state is facing a blood supply crisis after the number of people donating blood has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The shortage of blood has reached a crisis level. We have critical shortages now throughout the health system,” said Dr. Don Williamson, the president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

The Hospital Association said LifeSouth, the donation center that supplies blood to the majority of Alabama’s hospitals, has listed the statewide blood supply at “critical” levels. That means, on average, there is less than two days’ supply of blood on their shelves.

Williamson said some hospitals would have difficulty handling a major trauma event as a result. That is particularly concerning with holiday travel season approaching, he said.

While it’s not uncommon to see occasional blood shortages on a local level, Williamson said, “It’s pretty rare for us to see this level of blood shortage on a statewide basis.”

The hospital organization said donations are urgently needed. The group also encouraged schools, colleges, churches, businesses and other organizations to host a local blood drive as soon as possible.

“We are strongly encouraging people who can donate, to please go donate,” Williamson said.

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