Community blood supplies are now at a “critical low” and hospitals may be asked to postpone elective surgeries in order to conserve available blood supplies.

That’s according to Carolina Garcia, public information director at Carter BloodCare in Fort Worth.

“We are working hard to keep that from happening,” Garcia said.

The organization is issuing an emergency appeal for donors of all blood types to give blood as soon as possible.

“Donations of all blood types over the coming days are urgently needed to return supplies back to acceptable levels,” Garcia said.

“Platelets are at a critical low and they are a blood product that only lasts five days,” Garcia said. “They are used by cancer patients and others but supplies are very critical.”

Garcia said that the recent bad weather has prevented people from getting out to give and the weather was so bad in places that some blood drives had to be cancelled.

In other situations, the draw centers had to close because employees were not able to make it in due to icy roads, she said.

“We need 800 to 1,000 donors to come through our doors every day,” she said. “We’ve been receiving less than half that amount, which has caused blood levels to drop alarmingly over the last six days.”

Hospital supplies of Type-O blood are down by 30 percent and incoming orders can only be partially filled, Garcia said.

Stephenville and surrounding area residents are encouraged to give blood today from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at EGS Electrical Group, formerly known as Appleton’s Electric, located at 2150 West South Loop.

Peggy Jordan, human resource manager at EGS, said the blood drive truck will be set up in the front parking lot.

Jordan said the company participates in two drives each year.

Blood can also be donated every Tuesday at The First United Methodist Church on Washington Street from 2 to 6 p.m. by calling 1-800-DONATE4 for an appointment.

Debbie Higgins, Blood Bank Team Leader at Harris Methodist Erath County, said the blood drive held Monday at the hospital yielded 22 units.

“The weather was so bad I thought we had a very good response,” Higgins said. “Normally we would have about 25 donors.”

Higgins said the hospital had received its normal supply for the first time in two weeks on Thursday.

Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be feeling well. Most medications will not prevent a donor from giving including medications taken for allergies, high cholesterol or diabetes.

ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at angelia.joiner@empiretribune.com or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.