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Blood shortages continue to be a issue during the pandemic

Kentucky Blood Center. Lexington, Kentucky Monday May 23, 2016 Photo by Joseph Rey Au

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to present challenges in getting blood donations. The Kentucky Blood Center has donor sites in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville, and Somerset. Mandy Brajuha is the Blood Center External Relations Vice President. She said hospitals continue to transfuse blood at or above the rates before the pandemic. “We’re simply not collecting the amount of blood we were collecting before the pandemic. So, overall, our collections are down about 11% from our pre-pandemic year. But, where we’re feeling that really the most is on our mobile blood drives. We’re down 35% on our mobile blood drives this year,” said Brajuha.

Brajuha said mobile blood drives at schools have been canceled when about half the senior class is home because of COVID exposure. She noted the high transmissibility of Omicron has also kept some people at home.

Big Blue Slam is still going this week. It’s a friendly competition between fans of the Universities of Kentucky and Florida. It runs through this Friday.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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