Stewart Blood Center Faces Critical Shortage

The CDC says giving and receiving blood is still extremely safe, and the risk of West Nile is remote. The biggest problem facing Stewart Regional Blood Center right now is their supply.  They've been running at critically low levels for a while. And, for the first time, they have had to buy blood from other centers just to keep some types in stock.

The cost $900,000 and climbing. Longtime donors like James Manning have made giving the gift of life... a lifetime habit.

He says, "A lot of people get their lives into a routine, and this is not something that is part of their routine, so they just need to make an effort to do it."

Less than five percent of people who can donate, do. And it needs to be on a regular basis.  Whole blood has a shelf life of just 42 days.