blood donation

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

When Hoxworth Blood Center issued an emergency appeal for blood donors in February, WVXU contacted the Community Blood Center in Dayton to see if it too was in emergency. Spokesman Mark Pompilio said there was no shortage, but he was worried about something else.

"It's definitely a concern that our biggest donor group is aging," he said.

That group is the baby boomer generation. And that concern, it turns out, is nationwide.

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Hoxworth is issuing an emergency appeal for donations. The center says its blood supplies are critically low.

Spokeswoman Alecia Lipton says all blood types are needed.

"We have seen a decline in blood donations," says Lipton. "Some of that has been caused by the flu, a little because of the weather and school cancelations, but mostly we've seen donor apathy. People just thinking, 'Oh, I'll do it later.' We've really been hit negatively with that for about the past month."

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A weekend newspaper headline said blood banks are changing their approach as demand slips.  It reported fewer elective surgeries and better technology are reducing the amount of blood that needs to be collected.  Some centers around the country are even laying off staff because of the shrinking demand.  

Hoxworth Blood Center Director, Dr. Ronald Sacher said that’s not necessarily the case in Greater Cincinnati.