Michigan dealing with blood donation shortage

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hospitals across our state are facing a potential crisis because of a shortage of donated blood.

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan said it is running low on supplies and need your help. Dawn Kaiser, Versiti’s vice president and director of donor services, said the organization normally has a three- to five-day stock of blood. As of Thursday, it had less than a day’s worth, so it was running on conservation mode.

Kaiser says all blood types are needed, but O-negative and O-positive are the most in demand.

She added most people are eligible to donate blood, but only 3% of people do.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out what your blood type is. Come on in, we’ll collect your blood and then later we’ll send you notification on your blood type,” Kaiser said.

January is National Blood Donor Month and it’s not uncommon to see a blood shortage this time of year. Because of the holidays, there are fewer blood drives and schools have been out of session. Widespread flu concerns also keep people inside.

If you’re interested in giving blood, you can go to Versiti’s website, versiti.org, to find a donation location near you. Kaiser reminded donors to bring identification and eat a full meal before donating.