Severe blood shortage could delay life-saving transplant surgeries
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It can be devastating for a patient when they hear that they have finally been chosen for a life-saving transplant, but the surgery has to be delayed due to a lack of blood.
There is a severe blood shortage in hospitals across the country, and supplies are dangerously low. UofL Hospital is no exception.
A transplant surgeon at the hospital said several factors contribute to the shortage, including a rise in trauma cases, more transplants being performed in the United States, and people rescheduling elective surgeries that were canceled during the pandemic.
The UofL Health Trager Transplant Center team finds the lack of blood extremely concerning. Transplanting hearts, livers, and lungs require a large amount of blood, and delaying those procedures could be life-threatening for some patients.
“One of the things we’re starting to tell people, you know, is, ‘You may have to bank some blood for yourself,’” UofL Health Transplant Surgeon Dr. Christopher Jones said. “Especially for our kidneys who are undergoing living donation, just so we can make sure we have blood for them. For those who are not as fortunate to having a living donor, it breaks my heart because we just don’t know. If we don’t have enough blood, unfortunately, we won’t be able to do the transplants, especially some of the bigger transplants that we do.”
To donate blood, go to aabb.org to find a center nearby.
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