DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Nationwide, donation centers are running low on blood.

According to officials at LifeSouth Community blood center, towards the beginning of the pandemic, there was actually a slight surplus of blood available, due to people staying in their homes but now they are at one of the lowest points in years.

“We are thinking it is due to high usage in hospitals,” District Director of Lifesouth, Sharon Hammock. “Usage has gone up since COVID started. At first, usage went down, but now it is getting back to normal, even a little bit more prior to COVID.”

According to Hammock, there is not enough blood in storage currently to cover a major catastrophic event that would impair multiple people.

“Right now if we were to have a disaster or large trauma come through, the hospital would not have the blood on the shelf that they need which could result in death or prolonged illness,” said Hammock. “We like to have blood on our shelf for any instance such as a natural disaster or a car wreck. Anything like that. And currently, we do not have that blood on our shelf available.”

With it taking less than an hour to donate blood, it is a small price to pay to make sure someone else gets to see another day.

As they say in the business: it’s better to give than receive.

“This community has been really good at responding to the need we have so I am just asking the community to do that again and help us come out of the shortage,” said Hammock.