Fevers, runny noses, and sore throats are taking part of the blame for the nation's dwindling blood supply. The American Red Cross has put out an urgent appeal for donors saying most blood banks have less than a two-day supply.
At the Gulf Coast Chapter, donations are down 25 percent. The director believes the severe flu season this year made many donors too sick to give. Still, others are managing to make it into the bloodbank.
The name "James Moran" has been on the American Red Cross's donors list for quite some time.
"Probably over 40 years," say Moran. "I just figured people needed blood."
While most of his friends cringe at even the thought of a needle, Moran describes that little poke as a good feeling because he knows he's saving lives.
"It don't hurt as long as the nurse sticks it right," he said.
On Wednesday, Red Cross nurses thanked Moran for sticking with them all these years. They presented him a pin that goes to people who have given 16 gallons of blood.
"We give them out once in a great while, and this is always a great honor to be able to do that. For anybody to have come in for that length of time is just remarkable," head nurse Laura Hojem said.
Nurses say if more people rolled up their sleeves more often, blood shortages might disappear.
"We need more donors who are as dedicated as Mr. Moran to come in consistently and donate," Hojem said.
"This is just marvelous for us. It's marvelous for the patients who need it. He's helping someone every time he comes in."
If history is any indication, James Moran will back in the Biloxi blood bank in about eight weeks.