Local drives aim to tackle blood shortage


The central Indiana blood supply was called critically low earlier this month by the State Department of Health.  Though the shortage is no longer as severe, the holidays are typically a time when donations are low.

To help boost donations, the Indiana Blood Center (www.indianablood.org) is running a promotion that kicks off today and runs through Jan. 15.  The Bleed Blue Blood Drive starts at the home of the Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, and will continue for the month-long promotion at the nine donor centers and mobile drives, including a few in Hamilton County.  Additional mobile drives will be announced today.

“We expect to have 2,000, potentially 2,200 donors at Lucas Oil Stadium,” Wendy Mehringer, director of marketing with the Indiana Blood Center said.  “We need 500 [units]a day, so that’s about four days’ worth.  We hope the donations continue for the month.”

About 75 percent of the Indiana Blood Center’s donations come from mobile blood drives that are held at places of employment, schools, and churches.  Around 5 percent of the population donates blood, “so it’s not much,” Mehringer stated.  “That includes people who have donated just one time in years.  Ideally, we’d see people give four times a year, but we know that’s a lot to ask.”

“If we saw everyone twice a year, then we’d never have a critical shortage or low supply,” Mehringer said.

There are two donor centers in Hamilton County, one in Fishers at 7458 E. Fishers Station Dr., 576-9680, and one in Carmel at The Boardwalk Shoppes, 726 Adams Street, Suite 150, 844-0313.

There are three upcoming mobile blood drives in Noblesville: Thursday:  Taylored Systems, Inc. Bloodmobile  14701 Cumberland Road #100 from 2:30-4:30 p.m., Friday:  Taylored Systems, Inc. Bloodmobile, 14701 Cumberland Road #100 from 8:30-10:30 a.m., and Jan. 4: Riverview Hospital Bloodmobile, 395 Westfield Road from 2-7 p.m.  Additional area bloodmobiles can be found at www.donorpoint.org.