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One more impact from this month’s tornado in Alabama—a blood shortage

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Local hospitals are asking the public to roll up their sleeves in the wake of deadly storms in Alabama. Facilities say the state is feeling the impact of blood shortages now more than ever. Local hospitals say they are seeing an increase in blood use since the tornadoes hit the state earlier this month. Health experts say the recent rough weather has made things worse. Mark Deakle works with DCH. He explains the importance of public donations and asks Alabamians to do their part.

“The storms we had recently down in Selma and Eutah, where there was some demand put on, always reduces the amount of blood that we have available, so it’s really important that the public restocks that blood supply,” said Deakle.

Donors must be at least sixteen years old and in good physical condition to donate. DCH says all blood types are needed. The DCH Health System says it has reached a critical level for type “O” blood and is approaching critical levels for other types. Mark Deakle says donors will get thank you gifts as they help save lives.

“What they do is include a free cholesterol test with each donation, they run it on the blood you donate and it comes back to their portal on their website and you can check it. It’s all secure,” said Deakle. “There’s also freebies given away, from t-shirts to Amazon or Walmart cards. There’s always something they’re giving away along with the units.”

Alex Pfeneger is a University of Alabama intern in the Alabama Public Radio news room. On his first day on the job, Alex contributed newscast copy and audio on the blood shortage caused by the tornado that hit the city of Selma, as well as Dallas and Autauga Counties.
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