Nationwide saline shortage limits red cell donations.
SAN ANTONIO – A nationwide saline shortage is having a significant impact on South Texas Blood and Tissue Center’s (STBTC) ability to collect blood. Because of this situation, a blood shortage is eminent and many more whole blood donations will be necessary.
Sterile injectable saline is used to replenish the body’s fluid loss during a specific type of automated blood collection process which results in two units of blood. “Certain donors can give two units of red blood cells at one time. Those donations help ensure enough blood is available for the community,” said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer at STBTC. Waltman continued that if those types of donations cannot occur because of the saline shortage, STBTC would have to rely on many more whole blood donors to make up the shortage.