Blood donation centers concerned about supplies amidst series of recent shooting
Chattanooga police are now investigating two shootings on Thursday. One happening early in the morning on Bradt Street and another on East 35th Street.
While investigators work to find answers in that case and others this week, blood donor services are working to find more people to give during the typically slow summer season.
They've even nicknamed it "trauma season".
"High school students donate about 13-16% of our blood products and of course in the summertime they're out on vacation so not only are they not donating, but they're also having accidents," said Blood Assurance Medical Director Dr. Liz Culler.
The nickname is ringing true in the Scenic City with four shootings just this week, one of which was fatal.
"I can tell you we've shipped over 260 units to Erlanger just this week alone," Culler told Channel 3.
A CPD spokesperson tells Channel 3, there have been 12 fatal shootings this year, which is twice as many as this time last year.
There have been 38 non-fatal shootings, which is just one more than last year's number.
Culler says with summer being a slow period in general for donations, the recent spike is concerning.
"More accidents and fewer donors at the same time," she explained.
The medical director says now that Blood Assurance's supply of units is running low, they're in need of more donations.
"We need to get ourselves a little bit out of our hole, because we have less than one-day supply of O-Pos and less than a two-day supply of the other types," she continued.
Culler says Blood Assurance tries to have at least a week's worth of all blood types in supply.
The 70 hospitals they serve typically need O-positive blood the most. With it in short supply ahead of a big holiday, they're even more worried.
"I think the thing that's concerning is we have 4th of July next week and we'll be open, but a lot of folks will be out on vacation, spending time with their families so we really encourage you to donate today," Culler told Channel 3.
If you're interested in donating you can either walk in to any of their locations or make an appointment online.
The Gunbarrel Road Blood Assurance location will be open this Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
For a full list of locations click here.