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Get ready for the deep freeze in South Texas: Give blood

South Texas Blood & Tissue works to build supply in advance of possible severe weather, thanks donors with $20 Amazon gift card 

South Texans are getting ready for the most severe cold snap in several years. 

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is asking the community to donate in advance of possible severe weather, because no matter the conditions outside, patients in our hospitals will continue to need blood transfusions.  

The blood center has added appointment slots over the next several days as it works to build the blood supply. It is asking anyone who already has an appointment to please keep it if you can travel safely. If you need to re-schedule, please call ahead to open space for another donor to fill the slot.   

To thank donors who help meet the urgent need, the center will provide $20 Amazon gift cards to blood donors through Monday, Feb. 15, as well as points in its rewards system.  

“Almost every community in America is experiencing a dramatic shortage of blood. With the extreme weather conditions ahead of us over the next week, we must prepare now. Every donation is critical and could mean the difference between life and death” 

Adrienne Mendoza, vice president of Blood Operations at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, a subsidiary of San Antonio-based nonprofit BioBridge Global

Demand for blood is up by 35 percent from a year ago. Hospitals are treating more-severe injuries from high-speed auto accidents. They’re seeing more domestic violence cases. Surgeons are working on a backlog, treating patients whose care was delayed because of the pandemic. Because of the blood shortage, the blood center has been forced to work with hospitals to evaluate which patients receive blood transfusions. 

“We’re concerned that wet roads will mean even more traffic accidents – and more traumatic injuries that require transfusions,” Mendoza said. “A huge accident like the one in Fort Worth on Thursday has the potential to drain the entire blood supply, leaving others who need blood at serious risk.” 

Donors can make an appointment with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center by calling 210-731-5590 or visiting SouthTexasBlood.org. Same-day appointments are available at the center’s seven donor rooms, as well as at community blood drives.  

The center also will be accepting walk-in donors as space allows.