Blood Assurance, the non-profit regional blood center, is in critical need of type O negative blood, said officials. Currently level 1 trauma centers are using 20 percent more O negative blood than last year. Typically, 275 units of O negative type blood are sent weekly to area hospitals, but the demand has surpassed the number of donations by 18 percent in the last two months.
To meet the need of local hospitals, over 440 blood donors are needed every day. Blood Assurance serves 70 healthcare facilities in a 47 county region. Patients in these area hospitals depend on Blood Assurance’s volunteer donors for life-saving blood and blood components. One donation can save three lives.
To be eligible to donate blood, donors 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, blood center locations or blood drives, please call Blood Assurance at 1-800-962-0628 or go to www.BloodAssurance.org