The blood isn't flowing in Lawrence.
And that has the Amanda Storm concerned.
Storm, a donor recruitment representative with the Community Blood Center, said only four pints of type O blood the most common type were on the shelves at the center Monday night.
"This is a very significant shortage," she said.
The center, which provides blood to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, typically aims to have 200 pints of type O blood on hand in case of emergencies. Forty-four percent of the population has type O blood, Storm said, and type O-negative is the universal donor, which means the blood can be given to anyone requiring a transfusion.
"That's why when you're watching ER or something and things are really crazy, they'll yell, 'I need a pint of O-negative,'" Storm said.
Storm blamed the dwindling blood supply on cold and flu bugs, which have limited the number of people eligible to give.
"People have been sick, and we've had to turn them away because of that," she said.
The Community Blood Center also has donor sites in Topeka and the Kansas City area, so LMH can draw from those supplies when blood-giving in Lawrence is low.
Giving is especially sparse among young adults in Lawrence, Storm said. Donors can't have received tattoos or piercings for a year before giving, which disqualifies many in the Lawrence area, she said.
Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. They also must present identification when they give.