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Michigan in 'dire need' for blood donations due to pandemic, flooding

The blood center says it lost hundreds of donation appointments because of the crisis in mid-Michigan.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Blood bag storage at a drive.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the need for blood donations has persisted. Monday, the Versiti Blood Center of Michigan said the need for "blood donations continues to escalate." 

The coronavirus pandemic prompted a decline in blood donations, and Versiti said the flooding in Midland County last week also impacted the supply. The blood center says it lost hundreds of donation appointments because of the crisis in mid-Michigan.

“Our blood supply is not meeting hospital demand. That is the situation we face today,” said Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Area Vice President Dawn Kaiser. “Hospitals are resuming surgeries and trauma cases are increasing as stay-at-home orders are relaxed. We must be able to provide blood. Lives depend on it.” 

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that non-essential medical procedures could resume, which had been put on pause during the height of the pandemic. 

Versiti is asking Michiganders to donation all blood types, but they especially need O-negative, which is the universal blood type used in trauma situations.

The blood center requires all donors and employees to wear face masks, and social distancing is being practiced at centers and community blood drives. 

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit Versiti online.

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