Nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance is calling on community members to make a blood donation at a local donor center or bloodmobile drive. The organization presently has less than a one-day supply of O negative blood, and officials are asking the community to donate to help guarantee blood is readily available for hospital patients.
“We currently have less than a one-day supply of O negative blood, and if a crisis were to occur we would not be prepared,” said Dr.
Elizabeth Culler, medical director for Blood Assurance. “To most effectively serve local hospitals, we need to have a four to five-day supply of this blood type. The need for a steady blood supply is vital, especially as we enter the holiday season. Blood Assurance is asking donors, specifically those with O negative blood type, to give today.”
Each donation of blood contains plasma, red blood cells and platelets that can be used to save up to three lives. Patients undergoing surgery, receiving cancer treatment or organ transplants rely on donated blood in addition to the unexpected traumas seen at hospitals on a daily basis.
“O negative blood is the universal blood type used during emergency situations,” said Jay Baumgardner, executive director of marketing and community relations for Blood Assurance. “With less than a one-day supply of O negative blood, the needs of patients in local hospitals cannot be met. We need healthy donors to come replenish the supply. If you are able to donate, we ask that you take 30 minutes out of your day to save lives in our community.”
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive near you, please visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE ‘ to 444999.