JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A nationwide blood supply shortage is affecting Mississippi hospitals.

Leaders with Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) said blood donors are increasingly harder to come by now. The dip in donated blood is hitting hospitals hard, and patients are being told they have to wait.

Blood services nationwide and locally are calling on donors to help save a life.

“It makes me feel good, like I’m doing my part,” said donor Tammy Brown.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, blood donors have been progressively harder to come by. Contributing factors include the spike in the pandemic, concerns around COVID-19 and people returning from the holidays.

“We need to see anywhere from 200 to 250 donors every day to meet those needs. Right now, we’re seeing about 100 to 150 donors,” said Merle Eldridge with MBS.

The Donor Recruitment and Mobile Collections Director said the Flowood headquarters was unable to deliver its regular blood supply to any hospitals due to a lack of inventory. They said they’re facing a less than one-day supply shortage on all products.

“One donation, an hour of your time can be the life or death difference to someone in need, up to three people,” said Eldridge.

The process to give blood takes roughly one hour.

“Right now, we need all blood types. Particularly, we need platelet donors to come out and give,” said Eldridge.

The American Red Cross announced that the entire nation is facing a blood supply shortage for the first time in history.

You can still donate if you have had COVID-19. You can donate once you are 14 days symptom-free. If you’ve had the vaccine or booster, there is no waiting period to donate blood. Additionally, many places are offering incentives to donate like gift cards, cash or clothing.

Click here to find a place to donate near you.