South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Ships Blood to Coastal Bend
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) sent out 350 units of blood on Tuesday in the first large wave of shipments to the hurricane-ravaged Texas Coastal Bend.
Blood drives from Corpus Christi to Houston have been canceled and donation rooms closed following widespread damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
As a result, STBTC and blood centers across the country are sending units of red blood cells and platelets to the region.
In South Texas, donors have responded to appeals since the hurricane made landfall on Saturday, making more than 1,600 donations. Monday alone, there were more than 700, almost 400 more than on a typical Monday.
As part of the efforts to support patients, STBTC has extended hours at its donor rooms in San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas, staying open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for blood donations through Sunday, Sept. 3. Donors can schedule appointments at SouthTexasBlood.org/Harvey or by calling 210-731-5590.
The donor room in Victoria, Texas, which was directly in the path of Hurricane Harvey, re-opened on Tuesday. Several staff members came to work Monday despite extensive damage to their own homes.
The demand for blood and blood products is higher than normal in San Antonio, as more than 700 patients have been evacuated from Coastal Bend hospitals to facilities in San Antonio.
Blood products are used for a wide range of conditions, from trauma to childbirth to cancer treatment.
All donors will need to have a photo ID. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood.