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00000178-73c0-ddab-a97a-7bf830af0000From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

Michigan hospitals warn of blood shortage

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Some Michigan hospitals are experiencing a critical shortage of blood. Blood banks say supply is typically low in the summer because high school students, who make up a bulk of donations, are on break. But this year is especially bad. 

Spectrum Health, which has hospitals in west Michigan, says its reserve is down 84% from normal levels. Statewide blood banks are now issuing an emergency call for people to give blood.

Manager of Donor Services for the Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Brig Cutter says recently one Michigan hospital only had a half day’s worth of O blood on reserve.

“This summer we are getting dangerously close,” he says. “We just felt that it would be most appropriate to issue an emergency appeal and make sure we are always there for those scary times for when we need to be there.”

Cutter says more people on vacation, not donating and hospitals using more blood could account for the shortage.

To make up for the shortage, Cutter says Versiti is making more calls to its donor list and is sending its mobile blood center on the road.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.