Indiana Blood Center seeks donations as they ship blood to Texas

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Blood donations are needed more than ever to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Indiana Blood Center sent more than 600 units of blood this week to Texas. The center is working on a third shipment to send later this week to a hospital in Galveston, Texas.

Some hospitals are relying on blood supply from out of state to help with what’s being called a national emergency.

Hospitals in the hardest-hit areas of Houston and southeastern Texas are trying to keep up with the demand for blood supply.

“On Monday, the Indiana Blood Center was asked to participate in a National Inter-organizational Disaster response effort to get blood and blood component to the Texas area,” said Andrea Fagan, who is the director of public relations and marketing for Indiana Blood Center.

The center sent two shipments of blood so far this week to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The second shipment left Tuesday with 165 red cells and 12 platelets.

“Blood donors here in Indiana have been responsible for probably 600 units to Texas so it truly is Hoosiers helping Houston,” Fagan said.

But the plane couldn’t land due to flooding, so the National Guard stepped in to help. Cellphone video provided by the Omaha World-Hearld shows a Black Hawk helicopter delivering the supply.

“This is an emergency that’s beyond the control of the people who live there and the patients who are already in the hospitals,” Fagan said. “We had a medical director call us and say I got a liver transplant that’s scheduled we can’t not do this and I need that blood down here in 48 hours and we were able to deliver it.”

The center is urging for people in central Indiana to donate blood to help. Some blood banks in Texas are unable to set up and collect blood for hospitals because of the flooding.

24-Hour News 8 talked with one donor from Indianapolis.

“I don’t have any personal relations there (Houston) but I mean regardless it’s devastating seeing your fellow human being just going through something like that,” said Kayla Kirk, who donated blood to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Even though Kirk is more than a thousand miles away from Texas, she knows her generosity will go a long way.

“It feels really really good being able to say like I help even if it’s just one unit of blood,” said Kirk.

The Indiana Blood Center said it’s going to face a big challenge this weekend with it being Labor Day weekend. They usually don’t see a lot of donors during the holiday weekend, but they’re urging people to please donate if you can.

As for the third shipment of blood supply going to Texas, Fagan said it’s expected to go out either Friday or Saturday.