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Memorial Blood Centers declares blood emergency, calls on donors

A long-term drop in the number of blood donors, as well as a recent surge in blood use, has led to a local and national blood shortage.

Memorial Blood Centers in the Burning Tree Plaza in Duluth. (Jed Carlson / 2020 file / News Tribune)
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Memorial Blood Centers announced a blood emergency this week and is urgently seeking blood donations from eligible donors.

The blood supply is currently low due to a drop in donations since the pandemic started, according to the news release. Nearly 40,000 blood donors have not returned to donate blood since the pandemic started.

“There’s a nationwide shortage,” said Kathy Geist, senior executive director of Memorial Blood Centers. “We currently have only a three-day supply of blood to offer to more than 30 local hospitals. The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant we’ve had a year of virtually no high school or college first-time donors, and 41% fewer donors between the ages of 17-24.”

Memorial Blood Centers serves St. Luke's in Duluth and Two Harbors; Essentia Health locations in Northeastern Minnesota and Superior; Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet; as well as eight other hospitals in the Northland.

There's been a recent surge in blood as hospitals perform more surgeries that were postponed during the pandemic, the news release said.


Those interested in donating can find out they're eligible and schedule an appointment by visiting mbc.org. To schedule an appointment, call 888-448-3253.

Anyone who donates blood to Memorial Blood Centers in June will be entered into daily drawing for Minnesota Twins tickets.

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