Nebraska Faces Shortage in Blood Donations

July 12, 2021, 4 p.m. ·

Women holds up sign after donating blood at recent Water’s Edge Church blood drive. (Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Community Blood Bank)

Following similar trends around the country, Nebraska’s only community blood bank has seen a significant drop in donors in the last year. The Nebraska Community Blood Bank is the primary provider of blood to Lincoln and Omaha hospitals and announced a blood emergency just last month due to long-term shortages caused by the pandemic. Community outreach representative Kari Lundeen said the shortage was primarily caused by the lack of blood drives.

"We've lost 50% of our blood drives from the start of COVID. That means that we have lost almost 50% of the blood supply.”

Lundeen said the blood bank needs around 1000 donors a week to be able to support its 23 hospitals. Recently, they have been about 200-300 donors short on a weekly basis.

"We need people to come in every single day to donate blood. Because as fast as it's coming in, we're sending it right back out to our hospitals."

She said normally the blood bank tries to have a week to two week supply-cushion, but unfortunately that isn't possible right now.

"That supply is very depleted."

Lundeen said to remember that blood donations are the only way to get the blood needed to run hospitals and perform needed surgeries.