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Blood shortage hurts Red Cross, Texas Blood Institute holds strong
The American Red Cross says its national blood supply is at its lowest level in 15 years but the impact may not be felt in Texoma. The blood shortage the Red Cross is suffering from would not affect hospitals in Texoma because the Texas Blood Institute is the local blood supplier. There are over 700 blood suppliers across the country. Jennifer Risinger, spokewoman for the Texas Blood Institute, says blood donations have been holding steady. "We don't want anyone to worry about our blood supply right now. Our hospitals have plenty of blood that they need right now but we just need everyone to remember, please donate with us so that we can maintain those blood supplies and the blood inventories for these hospitals in the area that we supply to." Risinger says. However, the Red Cross believes their huge deficit in blood donations could be blamed on the summer months. Katrina Farmer with the American Red Cross North Texas chapter says this is one of the hardest times to get people to come in and donate. "This year we kind of think the supply is a little bit shorter because of when the Fourth of July fell and because of all the heat," Farmer says," People aren't getting out as much. Yes, the blood supply for the American Red Cross is shorter then it has been in a lot of years." Even though the Red Cross does not supply locally, they do supply to more than 3,000 hospitals across the country. The Texas Blood Institute and the American Red Cross say the process of donating whole blood is simple and would only take about an hour. They agree that it is all about saving lives.