CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend Blood Center is pleading a call to action.
CBBC officials said this past week, blood donation shelves have nearly gone empty and the situation is only getting worse.
Normally, the blood center tries to get 125 units of blood a day, but they're only reaching 45 daily, which is less than half of their goal.
The center is the main blood provider in the Coastal Bend and serves ten counties and 22 medical facilities.
"We can be completely depleted from our blood supply in a matter of minutes, even seconds. This is why it's extremely important that everyone donates consistently," Ashley Ramirez, Coastal Bend Blood Center Media Spokesperson, said. "This is why we're out in the community seven days a week. We do not stop because we cannot stop. Our patients in our local hospitals are relying on us to service them with our blood supply and as you can see we don't have that much."
Right now, the center needs all blood types, but the most urgent need is O-Positive, which is the most common type.
Coastal Bend Blood Center officials said summer vacation is contributing to their severe shortage, as they depend heavily on donations from high schools throughout the year.
They added 30 percent of their supply typically comes from those donations.
They normally have a difficult time receiving donations in the summer, but this time it's significantly worse.
"Summer is just starting so this is something that's very, very stressful for us. But we know that if we come together as a community we can turn this situation around," Ramirez said.
Donors can give blood every 56 days equaling to four times a year. The center encourages people to donate at least twice a year to prevent a shortage from happening again.
The Coastal Bend Blood Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 6 p.m. It's located at 209 N Padre Island Dr. Walk-ins are welcome and giving blood is free.
There are also blood mobiles located all throughout the ten counties on weekdays and weekends.
Those interested need to be at least 17 years or older and need a photo ID. At the center, they will take a mini-physical before donating. The process and donating takes a total of 35 minutes. For more information, visit their website www.coastalbendbloodcenter.org or follow the center on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ Coastal Bend Blood Center.