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Blood banks in short supply across state

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:35 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - With fewer and fewer people giving blood during the pandemic, blood banks are in a state of emergency.

“Since the pandemic has started, we’ve seen that there’s 41,000 donors who have not returned to donate blood,” said Nebraska Community Blood Bank Community Outreach Representative Kari Lundeen.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank in Lincoln only has three days worth of blood as a result.

“Summer is always challenging anyway, we’re just coming off of holiday, so we’re already impacted by that and then without a large number of returning donors it’s definitely going to impact our blood supply, which then will impact our hospitals also.”

Lundeen believes not being able to host blood drives throughout the pandemic is to blame.

“Blood drives used to be responsible for 50% of the blood supply and now that we’re only sitting at half of what we used to see, it’s become a huge problem and that’s just not with us, I think that’s across the board with any blood community organization.”

She urges people to step up and donate blood at any local blood bank or drive and that’s what hundreds of police officers and firefighters did at the Adams County Fairgrounds for the Battle of the Badges blood drive in Hastings.

“The amount of people that are showing up is just outstanding,” Hastings Police Department Capt. Mike Doremus said. “I mean we love to support. They support us year-round but even in these type of events, it’s amazing to see how many people truly come out to give not only to the police department and the fire department but to the Red Cross.”

They exceeded their goal of 115 donors and even had to turn people away.

“Once we find out who the winner is, that’s when the trash talking really starts and we find out who really has what it takes to, you know, suck it up and say hey I’m a loser,” Doremus said.

The stakes have been set. The loser has to cook dinner and the winner gets bragging rights for the rest of the year.

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