Gainesville Blood Shortage Continues After Height of Pandemic, LifeSouth Says

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LifeSouth Community Blood Center is the key blood supplier for hospitals in Gainesville.

Laura Bialeck, its community director, said that the national blood shortage has been recurring throughout the pandemic.

“We have found that month after month that we are low on the type O blood,” She said, “and it is not just here in Gainesville it is a national critical need for type O blood.”

Officials say the main reason is because elective surgeries were put on hold during the pandemic and doctors are now accepting them.

Blood Drive Technician Xannairria Ware said that the biggest problems are the restrictions on where mobile blood drives can collect blood.

“Pre-pandemic it was booming,” Ware said. “We had a lot of foot traffic for the drives. But now, after the pandemic, it has slowed down because still in Alachua County we are not allowed to have blood drives at the high schools and colleges.”

Bialeck said 75% of blood collections are now at the LifeSouth Community Blood Center, isolating the opportunities to donate mostly to those coming in person.

About Jillian Colombo

Jillian is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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