Blood Supplies Low, Holiday Weekend Approaching

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blood supply levels are low across the country, including at Blood Assurance, the regional blood center. With the busy Labor Day weekend fast approaching, the blood supply levels need to be increased in order to handle any trauma situation that might occur. 

There is always a need for O negative blood donors and platelet donors. Donors of all types are urged to come in. Supplies can be depleted at a rapid pace, especially when blood donations are down. Refrigerated red cells just last 42 days, but volunteer blood donors can only give every 56 days. Donated platelets can be stored for 5 days, while donors can give every 7 days. 

During the summer months, it is difficult to keep the blood supply at adequate levels, due to a surge in summer travel through the area, leading to an increase in auto accidents. Boating accidents occur more frequently as well in the warmer months. Blood donors are needed year round. Blood Assurance needs help to get the blood supply levels up before the holiday weekend. 

Blood Assurance is a non-profit blood center that serves 47 counties in a 5 state region, and is the provider of blood and blood components for 70 healthcare facilities. Over 440 blood donors are needed every day in order to adequately supply the region served by Blood Assurance with lifesaving blood. 

To be eligible to donate blood, you 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. 

These blood centers will be open on Monday, September 1 - Labor Day - from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Hixson, Downtown Chattanooga, and Tullahoma in Tennessee; Fort Oglethorpe and Rome in Georgia; and Abingdon, Virginia. For more information about how you can help, please call Blood Assurance at 800/962-0628.

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