Blood supplies still low South Texas Blood & Tissue Center to open all donor rooms Saturday and Sunday
In response to a continuing critical need for blood donations, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center will open all its Donor Rooms on Saturday, Jan. 11 and Sunday, Jan. 12.
Normally, just three donor rooms are open Sundays.
STBTC has five donor rooms in San Antonio, plus one in New Braunfels and one in Victoria. Locations, hours and scheduling are available at SouthTexasBlood.org/WeNeedYou. Walk-in donations are welcome as well.
South Texans have responded to the center’s appeal for blood donations this week, giving 408 times Friday and 2,062 times since Tuesday. The center set a goal of 2,160 donations by Friday to avoid the cancellation of surgeries at San Antonio hospitals.
“We came really close to our goal, but we are still working to help hospitals rebuild their blood supplies,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director at STBTC. “Unfortunately, we are still only one major car accident away from depleting the blood supply again.”
Several San Antonio hospitals had trauma cases last week requiring dozens of transfusions, wiping out inventories.
Ngamsuntikul said it was vital that the numerous upcoming blood drives across South Texas were successful. Community blood drives provide a large percentage of the donations every year, she said.
"Donating now -- and then making it a habit -- is what ensures we avoid shortages like this in the future," she said. "If everyone could give just one more time a year, we could take care of all our patients in South Texas every year."
The center has four community drives scheduled this weekend:
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
326 Legion Drive
Converse, TX 78109
Noon - 5 p.m.
1216 Junction Highway
Kerrville TX 78028
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
In the Sanctuary
103 Industrial Loop
Fredericksburg, Tx 78624
St. Joseph- Honey Creek
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
25781 Texas 46 West
Spring Branch, TX 78070
8: 45 a.m. - Noon
172 West Coll St.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Donors can call 210-731-5590 with questions about eligibility or donation locations.
Demand is especially high for type O blood. O-negative is critical because it can be used for any patient in an emergency. O-positive is the type most common in South Texas, and demand for O-positive blood increased by 17% in 2019.
Nationally, more than 60% of the population is eligible to give blood, but every year, less than 5% of those who are eligible actually make a donation.
Donors can make an appointment and find more information at SouthTexasBlood.org/WeNeedYou.
Anyone wishing to donate blood must present identification. Donors age 16 must have a signed parental consent form and weigh at least 120 pounds. Anyone over the age of 17 may donate and must be in general good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. All donors are asked to eat well and adequately hydrate before and after donation. Refreshments and snacks are provided, and all donor receive a wellness check. Learn about blood donation at SouthTexasBlood.org.