High flu numbers negatively impacting blood donations in the Ups - FOX Carolina 21

High flu numbers negatively impacting blood donations in the Upstate

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Blood drive (File/ FOX Carolina) Blood drive (File/ FOX Carolina)

High flu numbers in the Carolinas are impacting blood donation centers, since donors can't give if they're sick.

We checked in with The Blood Connection and the Red Cross, and both tell us they've seen a dramatic drop in who is stopping in. In fact, the Red Cross says there is now a critical need for blood.

Maya Franklin is a spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

"There is a critical need for blood right now," Franklin explained. "Earlier this month it was an urgent need, but because of winter weather and the flu we had to reissue the call for blood donations and let everyone know we're in a tough spot right now and we want to be able to make sure our patients are getting the care they need."

At The Blood Connection on Woodruff Road, we're told there are more empty seats than normal.  Both the recent winter weather and high flu numbers mean a drop in donations.  And since there is always a need for blood donations, they are especially feeling the hit this year.  

Donna Ehrlich is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager, and said,  "There's a constant need for blood, on a constant basis, we need to collect a little over 400 units every single day so when we even have a drop off of a small percentage then we become in catch-up mode.  We have to recover what we haven't been able to collect."

Both the Blood Connection and the Red Cross are urging new donors to step up and fill the gaps, especially since the flu season is still going strong. 

"I think we're still in the middle of it, it's not getting better yet," said Ehrlich. "But we're hopeful and putting out the message to all of our donors.  We do have a great donor base, but we're always looking for new donors to come donate."

The Blood Connection is open 7 days a week for donors, and the Red Cross holds blood drives across the Upstate.  For more information about The Blood Connection, click here.  And for more information on the Red Cross, click here.

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