Blood Shortage At Stewart Regional In Longview

For months, Stewart Regional Blood Center in Longview has pleaded for donations because their supply was running low.

"We require somewhere between 150 and 200 units of blood everyday to meet the needs of patients here in East Texas," said Charlotte Jordan of Stewart Regional Blood Center. Those that work at Stewart Regional Blood Center say there is never a time when they are not in need of blood donations.

Low blood supplies nearly cost the life of 23 year old Matthew Smiddy of Longview earlier this month. Severely injured in a four-wheel accident, his liver was severed and he's needed more than 70 units of blood.  The blood had to be obtained from Dallas and Austin.

"The doctors told us that had there been a tragedy 24 hours right before he got here, there would not have been enough blood for him," said Smiddy's mother Teresa. Stewart has reached critical levels, meaning they have less than one day's blood supply. Blood donations still have to go through screening and testing before use, so waiting to donate reduces the supply even more.

The workers at Stewart Regional Blood Center are asking the public not to wait to give blood, the life you save may be someone you know.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.