National Blood Donor month emphasizes need for blood donation in East Texas, beyond

National Blood Donor month emphasized need for blood donation in East Texas, beyond
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:58 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 11:31 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - When it comes to lifesaving blood donations, hospitals and donation centers across the country and here in East Texas see less people during the winter. That’s why this Month is National Blood Donor Month.

“We are at critical levels currently and typically that’s what we see throughout the winter months as well,” Karen Holt, Executive Director for the East Texas Chapter of American Red Cross said.

According to American Red Cross, approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells are needed everyday in the U.S. and only about 3% of Americans donate blood, even though about 40% of the population is eligible.

“Every two seconds someone is in need of blood and so that is a constant, ever-evolving situation across the United States,” Holt said.

National Blood Donor Month is a time to encourage donations, honor donors, and recognize the importance of donating blood.

Kandy Flores with Carter BloodCare said to keep up with hospital needs across East, North, and Central Texas, Carter BloodCare would need 1,500 donors a day. James Black with Carter BloodCare said the averagae is running below the daily need of 1,500.

“Donations can fluctuate greatly from day to day, based on everything from bad weather and holidays to schools being on break or people away on vacation. As an example, right now there’s a big demand for O negative blood and platelets, because we have less than a full day’s supply on-hand; what that means is that some medical procedures are having to be delayed by up to two days until the blood or platelets come in. Surgeries and medical treatments can’t be performed unless the required blood is available,” Black said.

“Each person who donates one pint of blood can actually save up to 3 lives with that one donation,” Flores said.

Here are two blood drives that Tyler residents can take part in this month.

Friday, January 20, 2023

10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

American Red Cross Serving East Texas - Tyler

Multi-Purpose Room

320 East Rieck Rd.

Please visit and enter: ARCTYLER to schedule an appointment.

Saturday, January 21st

9:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In Collaboration with Empowerment Community Development Corporation & Texas African American Museum

Blood Drive Hosted by New Life Community Church and Greater East Texas Black Nurses

1201 N NW Loop 323

All donors will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card

To make an Appointment: go to enter the sponsor code “tylersicklecell”

You can also donate blood at Carter BloodCare Tyler Donor Center or at a Carter BloodCare mobile blood drive by making an appointment here or calling 800-366-2834.

“In an average month, Carter BloodCare hosts up to 750 mobile blood drives and ideally we’d love to see at least 25 or more donors at each drive; that’s in addition to donors being able to give at our Tyler Donor Center. Donating consistently is crucial. We say, if each donor would give blood just 2 – 3 times each year, that would go a long way toward correcting the national blood shortage,” Black said.