Blood Assurance, the regional blood center, is encouraging all donors to give blood in honor of past and present troops in the days adjacent to Memorial Day weekend.
The following Blood Assurance centers will be open on Monday, May 26, Memorial Day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Hixson, Downtown Chattanooga and Tullahoma in Tennessee; Rome and Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia and Abingdon, Virginia. All other blood centers will be closed that day.
The lab will be open to process, test and type previously donated units for patients in need at the area hospitals. Blood Assurance serves 47 counties in a five state region, and is the sole provider of blood and blood components for over 70 healthcare facilities.
During the holidays, because more people are traveling through the area, more accidents are happening, and boating and swim season typically begins this weekend, the need for blood rises. Unfortunately, blood donations decrease during the summer months and around holidays, mainly because schools are out, and people are vacationing away from home. When a typical automobile accident occurs, the victim, if he or she needs blood, can use more than 50 units.
To be eligible to donate blood, participants must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and T-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids - avoiding caffeine - and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.
For more information about donating blood, please call Blood Assurance at 1-800-962-0628 or go to www.BloodAssurance.org