North Texas hospitals to start prioritizing blood due to limited supply

There's a life-threatening shortage of blood this week in North Texas.

Carter BloodCare said it's always hard to get donations in the summer but supplies are critically low right now.

"So we are beyond our summer lows right now. And so if we don't see a significant rise in blood donation by Wednesday this week, hospitals could have to make decisions about surgery protocol," said Keoni Holloman, a spokeswoman for Carter Blood Care.

Holloman explained that hospitals will have to make tough decisions about which surgeries take priority and make the best use of the remaining blood. Doctors may have to turn down some patients from receiving care.

"It can come down to that depending on which patient is more critical. You may have to make that decision you don't want to make... to say that we need to delay this transfusion for this patient because this other patient needs it right away," said Dr. William Crews, the medical director for Carter BloodCare.

Blood shortages have been a problem for hospitals and blood banks across the nation this year.

"It's a nationwide trend. We have realized that we're not able to share resources with people across the nation and they've been able to support us. So this really put us in a bind. We really do need our community members to come out, and we encourage them to come out and give," Holloman said.

At Carter BloodCare, donors can be in and out of the door in 30 to 45 minutes. Most of that time is a taken up by a screening process with the actual donation process lasting only 10 to 15 minutes.

"Our requirements are age 16 with parental consent and no upper age limit. You need to be feeling well that day and you are welcome to come, and we are available to take you," Holloman said.

Good Day's Hanna Battah was able to make a donation Tuesday while she was on the air.