Hurricane Ida may not be impacting weather in Central Illinois, however, the blood supply in the area very well could be.
Kirby Winn with Impact Life blood centers says additional blood donors are needed to help strengthen the local blood inventory ahead of requests for blood that are all but certain to come in from the region impacted by Hurricane Ida.
Winn says Impact Life is a part of different national organizations and he says when possible, they support each other on the blood supply.
“When a region is hit, and it was Louisiana first with the hurricane but then this whole other area as it moved up the coast and so many cities hit by heavy rain, and all of it had an impact on the blood supply in that part of the country. When the power is out, or the streets are flooded or maybe people have been evacuated from the worst part of the storm, the blood drives are called off. So then the blood centers, the blood providers in those regions turn to us for help.”
Winn says the affected areas turn to partner agencies all over the country, however, the impact can still be concerning given the widespread areas impacted by Ida.
Winn says Impact Life anticipates many requests for blood will be coming in soon, however, the local needs are always the first priority.
“We don’t send blood outside of the region if we aren’t keeping a good blood supply locally. But if our blood supply is strong enough, then we are able to provide, we call it resource sharing, with those regions that have been hit by those terrible storms. So that’s what we are doing now is getting the word out that those requests are bound to come in, and we need to increase our supply to be able to help outside the region.”
Impact Life has seen a drop in blood donations toward the local blood supply as of late. Winn says the time around back to school and Labor Day weekend routinely seems to be a transition period for blood donors.
“Our actual blood supply right now is at or less of blood quote, on the shelves, or available already tested and ready to go for most blood components. But type O negative, universal blood type really needed for traumas, can go to all of the other blood types, that’s been at a one-day supply. And of course, we’ve got to be able to improve that by getting more donors coming in.”
Winn says all blood types are needed, but the universal blood types such as Type O negative and positive are lower in supply and in taking a look at what might be needed in the regions in the path of the storm, they’re going to need those universal blood products as well.
Winn says Type AB is also in high demand as well, however, he stresses that all blood types are needed.
A list of upcoming blood drives in Jacksonville can be found in this story on WLDS dot com.