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Published September 24, 2013, 02:30 PM

Dak Minn Blood Bank in need of donors

There is a blood shortage across the nation and local blood banks are in need of donors of all blood types.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

There is a blood shortage across the nation and local blood banks are in need of donors of all blood types.

Dak Minn Blood Bank in Grand Forks says it's a daily struggle to maintain the supply of blood on their shelves.

The reason for the shortage is actually increased demand. With the start of fall, less people are on vacation and people are back to work and school, meaning more procedures like organ transplants and heart surgeries are scheduled -- all procedures that require large amounts of blood.

At Dak Minn Blood Bank, officials say September can can be a busy month for blood transfusions but this September they're having a hard time keeping up. This bank collects between 70 to 90 units of blood a week, but has been giving out around 130 units a week. Those numbers mean the the increase in demand is outpacing the blood donations. Officials say they've been hitting their 25 donors a day mark, but if they could get to 30 to 40 donors a day they'd be able to keep up the demand.

"When we do say we're in need of blood, we actually are in need of blood and it's a serious condition and we want to make sure we have enough supply," Said Mark Jensen with the Dak Minn Blood Bank. "I think people sometimes sit back and think 'can they really always be short?' but like I said the usage is so high."

Officials with the blood bank say 98 to 99 percent of the donated blood stays local, so you could be helping your neighbor or a good friend. People can donate blood every 56 days starting at age 16 with parental consent, age 17 without. There is no age limit as long as you're healthy.

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