WACO, Texas — After finally recovering from blood shortages due to the pandemic, local blood banks are now entering another historically slow season.
According to Carter BloodCare, someone needs blood every two seconds. For almost two years they were struggling to meet that need as donations dropped drastically during the pandemic.
Recruitment Operations Manager Vickie Carpenter told 25 News the blood bank's supply is now almost back at pre-pandemic levels.
"I would say we're close to being back on track to what we were doing in 2019," she said. "We are able to meet our hospital needs, but we are getting into that time of year that we call our critical need months."
She said summer months are typically another slow time for them.
"We all start to go on vacations and we get very busy in the summer with our families, so we tend to see less donors," Carpenter said.
The blood bank is now asking people to consider making a donation before summer activities pick up.
"Now that we're starting to reach our slowdown time in donations, we really love to see us as a community step up, come in and donate blood because patients are in need of blood 24/7," Carpenter said.
The need is even greater for 'O-negative' blood, which is a universal donation that can benefit anyone in need.
"We have an urgent need for O-negs right now," Carpenter said. "That's universal blood that anyone can take. In time of emergencies, a hospital can automatically use O-neg on just about anybody."
Anyone 17 and older who weigh at least 110 pounds is eligible to donate.