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Recent News Articles

January 9, 2020

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center needs 1,400 more donations by Friday to help restock empty shelves at area hospitals.

Responding to appeals, South Texans made 588 donations on Wednesday, but the momentum needs to continue. On Tuesday, the blood center set a goal of 2,160 donations by Friday to meet the needs of South Texas patients.

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“We are hearing from hospitals that unless we can refill their inventories as soon as possible, they will need to ­begin canceling elective surgeries,” said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

The shortages also put the region’s patients at risk – a single major incident has the potential to deplete a hospital’s supply of blood in just a few hours.

Orders from area hospitals to South Texas Blood & Tissue Center double, depleting inventory
January 8, 2020

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) needs 600 donations today or area hospitals may be forced to cancel some surgeries tomorrow, said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

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“We can’t wait for someone else to step up – it’s time for Texans to help Texans,” Waltman said.

The blood center announced Tuesday that 2,160 donations were needed by Friday to meet the needs of patients in South Texas. Only 261 donations were made on Tuesday, short of goal, while orders from hospitals jumped to more than 1,300 units of blood and platelets, more than twice the normal number. There were less than 500 units on the shelf to fill those orders.

Growing demand for blood, along with more ineligible donors, puts strain on local blood supply
January 7, 2020

Just seven days into the new year, blood donations in South Texas are already 400 donations behind goal, leaving the community with less than a half-day supply of blood available for patients in area hospitals. 

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is asking the community to make 2,160 donations of blood and platelets by Friday, Jan. 10, to end the shortage. A swell of donors pushed the center close to its holiday goal the last two weeks of December, but demand has continued to grow. In fact, the need for blood was 10% higher in the last month of 2019 than the final month of 2018.

With local schools and businesses still on holiday, there were no blood drives scheduled in three of the first seven days of the month, putting a dramatic strain on the blood supply. In addition, the blood center is seeing an increase in the number of donors who are ineligible to give blood. 

South Texas Blood & Tissue issues emergency appeal for donations to boost dangerously low inventories and meet growing patient needs
December 11, 2019
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Although the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has collected 9% more blood during 2019 than in 2018, the rising demand for blood is exceeding collections, leaving the region with dangerously low inventories, according to Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Waltman.

“This month we have shipped 12% more blood to hospitals than we have collected,” Waltman said. “Without a significant increase in blood donations, hospitals may have to review each transfusion situation to focus on the most critical needs, delaying transfusions in some cases. With the holidays approaching, we need to get ahead of the situation, because collections typically decline, but patients’ needs do not.” 

While all blood types are needed, the demand is especially high for type O-negative donors. O-negative donors make up just 7% of the population, but because O-negative blood can be used for any patient in an emergency,12% of the orders from South Texas hospitals are O negative.

Special blood drives feature restaurant, retail and entertainment gift cards to thank blood donors and prevent a sharp drop in donations over Thanksgiving holiday
November 22, 2019

samantha_cancer_patientAs most of us prepare for family gatherings and travel this Thanksgiving, South Texas patients will remain in hospitals and continue to rely on blood donations. To help prevent a sharp decline in the community blood supply over the holiday, local organizations are working with The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) to schedule special blood drives featuring extra thank-you gifts for donors who make time to give blood from Nov. 23 – Dec. 1.

Patients like Samantha Aguirre, who is battling breast cancer, need blood transfusions throughout their treatment. “Blood donations literally saved my life and it’s because of blood donors that I am here,” she said.  

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