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There is an urgent appeal for East Texans to donate blood as the current available blood supply is critically low.

Throughout the last year blood donations in East Texas and around the state and nation have been down because of the ongoing pandemic. The blood supply here in East Texas has been low, but due to the recent extreme winter weather event that stopped East Texas in its tracks, it has really affected the available blood supply here in the area. The current amount of pints of blood on hand to be used by patients in the hospital are at the lowest levels in decades.

Blood donations usually happen across East Texas on a daily basis for those that give regularly to first time donors. Seeing how much of the area was affected by icy travel conditions, power outages, lack of water and heat, those donations came to a screeching halt for four consecutive days. As a result of not having power and water at many of the donation locations, blood banks and donation centers were forced to close down. While all of this is going on, there is still a need for blood as patients' lives depend on blood for transfusions though.

Carter BloodCare's president and CEO, Dr. Merlyn Sayers, put out the following message on just how critically low and urgent it is for us to donate blood.

If you are healthy and meet the eligibility requirements, you are encouraged to set up an appointment and donate blood or visit a mobile site to donate to help those that desperately need it. The American Red Cross is also in need of blood donations and you may schedule an appointment to give blood at their Tyler facility or any scheduled blood drive.

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