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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Health leaders said the blood shortage affecting Kentucky and southern Indiana is getting dire as the concern shifts for those awaiting a transplant.

At this point, doctors are not above begging.

"Your COVID status does not preclude you from giving," said Dr. Christopher Jones, the medical director for Trager Transplant Center. "Please give. Please give."

The shortage is being blamed on an uptick in violence in Louisville and also people wanting to have elective surgeries again after opting out during the pandemic.

This has been a glaring problem for weeks, and if it keeps getting worse, it could be life-threatening.

Blood transfusions are a vital part of the process for people going through a transplant surgery, especially when the heart, liver and lungs are involved. If one of those procedures had to be put on hold because of the shortage, certain patients might not make it.

"If we don't have the necessary blood to do an organ transplant safely, we will either have to send the patient elsewhere, or we will not be able to accept the organs, and the organs will end up going elsewhere," Jones.

O and B blood types are needed the most. Platelets are too.

Anyone interested in donating blood can contact the Red Cross or the Kentucky Blood Center. To contact the Kentucky Blood Center, click here.

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