Winter weather causes strain on Texarkana blood donation site

Winter weather causes strain on Texarkana blood donation site

TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - This week's winter weather is taking its toll on blood donations. Officials say their supplies are dwindling, especially at one of the area's main collection sites.

An empty donation area on Wednesday raises serious concerns for the LifeShare Blood Center in Texarkana.

"When you consider the hospitals we provide the blood to, that one day makes a big impact," explained Texarkana LifeShare Blood Center manager, Theresa Westbrook.

Westbrook says they typically average 60 units of blood per day, but this week's winter weather forced them to close their doors on Tuesday, and Wednesday's frigid temperatures kept donors away.

"Not only were we closed, but our Shreveport operations, our Monroe, Alexander operations were also closed," said Westbrook, "So when you have four centers totally stopped and not drawing, it is a big impact on our blood supply."

Employees, like Rick Huntze, now find themselves doing what they can to try and help. He is the Donor Resource Coordinator in Texarkana and Tuesday's lone donor.

"(Well) I was able to make it into work, and we didn't have any other donors come in, so I wanted to contribute somehow," Huntze said.

"Even though the weather is bad, people still need blood, they are still having surgeries, they are still having accidents, they are still having cancer," explained Westbrook.

The Texarkana LifeShare Blood Center will be open from 8am-3pm Saturday and 8am-12noon on Sunday to make up for the winter weather days.

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