The largest blood supplier in the Victoria area is urging residents to donate blood this month as Texas faces a critical blood shortage.
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is offering incentives to encourage people to donate blood throughout the rest of August. Anyone who donates blood this month will receive a $10 H-E-B gift card and a free Cinemark movie ticket, according to a news release from the group.
So far this summer, blood collections are critically low. The blood and tissue center serves 48 counties in Texas, including Victoria, and needs to collect 400 units of blood each day to adequately supply hospitals in the area, according to the release.
Blood transfusions are used every day to save lives and are common for all types of patients, from victims of gunshot wounds to kids and adults battling cancer.
“The horrific incidents reported earlier this month in El Paso, Ohio and California were a reminder that it is critical to have blood on the shelves before tragedy strikes,” the center said in a news release.
After mass shootings in all three of those communities, local donors lined up to provide lifesaving blood for the victims of the attacks.
The center urged people interested in donating to schedule an appointment in advance. Local donors can go to the Victoria donor room at 1109 Sam Houston Drive or find a mobile blood drive online. All blood types are needed, especially O-negative and O-positive.
“We’re asking the Victoria community to help restock our blood supply to ensure local patients and hospitals have the blood resources they need,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, the associate medical director of the blood and tissue center.