Memphis' largest blood distributor experiencing outage

(WMC-TV) - The cooler is practically bare at LifeBlood, the main provider of blood products for Mid-South hospitals. It is much more than a shortage of blood and platelets, it is being called an outage.

Paul Brooks has been donating blood since he was a 19-year-old U.S. Marine.

"They said if you give blood, you can have extra time off," said Brooks.

But now, he donates for more beneficial reasons.

"I love helping other people. So, if I can give blood to help someone else, that's fine," he said.

Brooks' platelets, after it's processed and distributed by LifeBlood, will go to a cancer or transplant patient.

Lifeblood is the largest distributor of blood and platelet units in the Memphis area. Meaning, if you need it, it will probably come from this facility.

But, the normal summertime shortage of blood supplies that usually occurs later in the season is occurring now.

When Action News 5 was at the blood center Tuesday morning, 10 units of platelets were donated. By 10:15 a.m., those were on their way to be used in patients.

"That means that we don't have enough donors to support the patients that are in the hospitals currently," said LifeBlood Medical Director Dr. Frank Nizzi.

If you would like to donate to LifeBlood, head to their website to make an appointment.

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