NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It is something you don't realize you need until you really need it — blood. There is a massive shortage not only here in the mid state but across the country.
Right now, Blood Assurance has no O-Negative blood on its shelves.
"It means that we have to wait until the units that we collect currently, the units that we collect today are tested, and then able to get labeled, which will take place tomorrow at the earliest," said CEO J. B. Gaskins.
There have been at least three trauma patients over the past two days that needed blood.
"I tried to tell people, it could be your family member, it could be a co-worker, you just never know when this is going to occur," Gaskins said.
Gaskins said the nonprofit blood donation center has only had about a one-day supply on its shelves for the past year.
"I always tell people, it's the community's responsibility. It's their blood supply. The blood centers are just the stewards of it, we have a responsibility and obligation that to supply the hospitals that we have contracts with," Gaskins said.
He blames the shortage on the pandemic — and people still working remotely.
"What we're asking for all these educational institutions, the businesses, churches, step up, give us a call set up a blood drive," he said.
Gaskins has a very personal reason to make sure there's enough blood on the shelves. His sister is alive thanks in part to blood donations. While in her 20s, a drunk driver hit her car head-on sending her right through the front windshield.
"Eighty-five people had chosen to donate blood prior to my sister being in her accident, had those people not donated and that blood wasn't available, my sister would have died," he said.
So his plea is truly heartfelt: help save a life just like his sister.
"They say the number one reason why people don't donate blood is because they've never been asked. And I'm asking now please donate if you're able to please donate," Gaskins said.
If you are able to donate all you need to do is go to Blood Assurance's website to sign up for an appointment. You can also fill out the questionnaire prior to donating there.