MD Anderson blood bank experiencing 'critical' blood shortage

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- MD Anderson announced its experiencing a critical shortage of blood for its cancer patients, and they need your help.

"With the [Memorial Day] weekend fast approaching and an ongoing nationwide shortage, it is a challenging time for the Blood Bank to collect blood products, and we are asking for your help to inform our community about this need," read an announcement issued by the hospital.

According to MD Anderson, its cancer patients need approximately 200 units of red blood cells and 600 units of platelets each day.

The blood bank depends on local blood and platelet donors to meet this need. Plus, the need is now even greater since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As a precaution, all blood donations at MD Anderson blood donor center locations are being held by appointment only. For safety reasons, children aren't allowed.

If you're worried about donating blood amid the pandemic, MD Anderson said it's completely safe to donate.

Coronavirus is not a bloodborne disease and according to the hospital, there has been no evidence that COVID-19 could be transmitted or contracted through a blood donation or a blood transfusion.

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If you recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, you can still donate blood.

If you're interested, you can schedule an appointment at mdandersonbloodbank.org or by calling 713-792-7777.

The MD Anderson Blood Bank is located at 2555 Holly Hall St. Appointments are available every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Memorial Day - holiday hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

No walk-ins will be permitted due to social distancing precautions.
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