Blood Donors Support The Meigs Community By Donating Late Into The Night; But Need For Blood Continues

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Blood Assurance responded to the school bus crash in Meigs County yesterday afternoon by extending center hours until 10 p.m., while seeing donors until the early morning hours. Over 700 donors gave blood yesterday in support of community solidarity with hundreds making appointments to come back to donate later this week when more appointments are available. From 4 p.m.-midnight, Blood Assurance saw 95 first time donors on Tuesday. "The communities truly understand the meaning of donating blood in response to such a tragic event," officials said.

“We have been experiencing a very critical need over the last several weeks,” said J.B.
Gaskins president and CEO at Blood Assurance. “The outpouring of support that we have seen over the last 24 hours is amazing. This community really shines in times of darkness; however, we need the community to understand that blood is needed every single day.”

"The need for blood never stops as traumas, births and routine surgeries continue every day," officials said. "Blood donation is essential to the infrastructure of healthcare and the only way to ensure patients have the blood they need is for people to donate. Blood cannot be manufactured and all blood used in community hospitals is from volunteer donors. Donating blood is a great way to help the community and if every donor who gave once a year gave twice, there would never be a blood shortage." 

Blood Assurance is open until 10 p.m. Wednesday and until 7 p.m. Thursday at the following centers: Downtown Chattanooga, Cleveland, Gunbarrel, Hixson, Fort Oglethorpe and Dalton. Regular hours will resume on Friday and Cleveland and Downtown Chattanooga will open this Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Blood Assurance is also hosting a two-day drive at First Baptist Church of Decatur in Meigs County on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Appointments are required. 

Blood Assurance is continuing to take extra precautions at this time to ensure the safety of donors and staff. Staff and donors are required to wear masks and staff are frequently disinfecting all items and surfaces used by donors. They are also accepting donors by appointment only. 

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. 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 or find a donor center or mobile drive near you, visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.

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