The Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center reported Monday it has been operating on a shoestring supply of blood ever since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.
The situation became more apparent Sunday when O-positive blood supplies were depleted after a person was treated at the local hospital for a gunshot injury.
The blood center put out a call Monday morning for an immediate need of O-positive blood and the community has answered, but all blood types are still needed according to WKRBC director of donor resources Vicki Ellis.
“We have been struggling since March when all of the COVID precautions went into place — immediately we lost all of our blood drives,” Ellis said. “It’s just been slow going with all of the COVID precautions that our levels have been way low.”
The need for certain blood types can change in an instant due to low inventory, Ellis said, which has put the center in reactive mode when responding. She noted a stabbing this month resulted in the same predicament for the center.
“All it takes is one extreme situation to wipe us out,” she said. “It’s going out of here as soon as it’s coming, and it’s not coming in the volume that we’re used to.”
Ellis said until WKRBC can operate at 100 percent capacity again, people are encouraged to set up appointments to donate blood. Call 270-684-9296 for more information or schedule an appointment.