Blood shortage stronghold on Nebraska  – The Omaha News
Omaha News

Blood shortage stronghold on Nebraska  – The Omaha News

By: Ben Copeland

OMAHA, Neb. – The national blood shortage continues to loom over the medical community. Facilities like the Nebraska Community Blood Bank said that while blood reserves are stable, there just are not enough donors.  

The need for blood is still very high in Nebraska, with local blood banks and the Red Cross declaring blood shortages back in September that are still in effect. A reason for the high demand are fewer donations from high school and college students. UNO student, Jess Williams recalled when she used to donate,

“Maybe about two years ago.” said Williams, “It was just something that I knew it was good to do, it was something I did in high school, so I found a blood drive and I went.”  She continued, “Just really hasn’t come up for me in my life, just really haven’t thought about it.” 

The lobby of the Nebraska Community Blood Bank located in Omaha, NE. (Photo/Ben Copeland)

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank is a not-for-profit company focused on keeping blood donations local by supplying nearby hospitals such as Children’s and Nebraska Medicine. Robin Stewart, an account manager for the bank, emphasized the importance that donating has on the community.  

“That means that all of our blood drives, all of our donor centers, the four that we have, when you give here, our hospital services and everything will directly take your blood over to the hospitals, so it’s a quick process,” explained Stewart. “We understand people are busy, they’ve got active lives, they are working and going to school and all of that. But donation time is an hour, and the impact is incredible.”  

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank said that they need about a thousand donations per week, which is stifled by the limitation that they can only see a donor once every 56 days. Stewart had hope, as they have saw rates slowly rise.

“People have a great experience here and they tell others,” Stewart continued, “so we’ve seen a big uptick in that as well, so I’m hopeful.” 

Robin Stewart holding social media signs used for various events held by the Nebraska Community Blood Bank located in Omaha, NE. (Photo/Ben Copeland)

The amount of blood that the bank carries at the moment is enough to last three days, so long as no significant accidents or trauma inducing events occur. 

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