Mark Smith: My goal tonight is just to let you know of the need that we have in this community for a strong, robust blood supply. And I’m asking if you will consider donating blood in the next two to three weeks.
[00:00:13] John Q: That is Mark Smith, speaking May 10 at the Southeast Neighbors general meeting,
[00:00:18] Mark Smith: My name is Mark Smith. I am the Community Engagement Liaison for Blood Works. We are experiencing a very significant blood shortage and it’s one of the most prolonged blood shortages that we’ve had in recent years.
[00:00:33] And some people might not understand, ‘What does that mean if we are short on blood?’ It just means that surgeries, that people who need blood for surgery, those surgeries are being delayed. People who are undergoing a treatment, let’s say cancer treatment, those blood products that are required for transfusions, they may not receive all of the number of transfusions required to bring them back to a level of being healthy.
[00:01:00] And then if we have a significant event like the large earthquake that we’re supposed to have and we don’t have enough blood currently for just proactive surgeries, that is a significant issue that is very concerning, that we may not have enough blood to handle an emergency like that.
[00:01:19] And nationally, other blood organizations that typically we could ask for help, they’re struggling with the same thing. So we may not have enough blood to help the victims of a major disaster.
[00:01:30] So I am trying to bring this to everyone’s attention because it’s the blood that is on the hospital shelves that actually saves the lives, not the blood that people will donate after a disaster. So we need to be prepared for an emergency like that, as well as the ongoing need for blood transfusions on a regular basis.
[00:01:53] And people ask, ‘Well, why are we struggling currently?’ Well, obviously COVID has set had a significant impact on that. We, like all other industries that are impacted with staffing shortages and the Great Resignation that you’ve read about, we’re dealing with a high percentage, 25 to 30 percent no-show rates, as well as, quite honestly, I think people are just fatigued about helping out. And they’re, now that the restrictions are being lifted, I think that they’re looking forward to just going out and enjoying and traveling more.
[00:02:23] So my goal tonight is just to let you know of the need that we have in this community for a strong, robust blood supply. And I’m asking if you will consider donating blood in the next two to three weeks.
[00:02:38] We’re only at a 40 percent fill rate at the Eugene Center, as well as the different blood drives here in Eugene Springfield area. So I’d ask if you would please spread the word that if you can donate, please set an appointment as soon as you can to donate blood.
[00:02:54] John Q: For more information, see the Blood Works Northwest website, BloodWorksNW.org.