“We are in emergency need of blood donations, especially Type O and RH negative donors to meet the patient needs of our hospitals,” said LifeSouth Vice President of Operations J.B. Bowles. “The freezing weather arrived, causing blood donations to hit an annual low.”
Although donations hit an annual low, LifeSouth officials said the demand for blood products in their hospitals has remained constant. And the word “emergency” is not used lightly, but contains a specific meaning.
LifeSouth uses “emergency” when inventory levels are at their lowest. It means their hospitals have less than a two-day supply, and LifeSouth does not have the blood available to resupply the hospitals when that blood is used.
“We are not alone,” Bowles said. “Blood centers across the country are facing critical shortages. We are working hard in the community getting the bloodmobiles in convenient locations, calling donors who are eligible who donate regularly, but it just isn’t enough. We have hot coffee and warm cookies at our donor centers, and our bloodmobiles are warm. We need the folks who don’t donate regularly to please step up and help.”
Donors must be 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. All donors will receive a T-shirt from LifeSouth and be entered into the monthly drawings for a PlayStation 4 game console.
The LifeSouth Birmingham Region Drive Schedule in The Daily Home coverage area includes today:
O Pell City Walgreen’s from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
O Piggly Wiggly in Childersburg from 1-6 p.m.
O Piggly Wiggly in Odenville from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
O Sylacauga Walgreen’s from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
For more information or to find additional LifeSouth blood drive locations call toll-free 888-795-2707.
Peggy Mann, American Red Cross community chapter executive for St. Clair and Talladega counties, said there have been cancellations of blood drives across the country due to the recent severe cold weather.
“This has caused a shortfall of blood and platelet donations,” she said. “The American Red Cross has not called for emergency blood drives as of yet, but we are encouraging everyone to donate blood or platelets.”
Mann said January is National Blood Donor Month.
Other blood drives planned are:
O Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Cropwell from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 19.
O Sylacauga High School from noon-5 p.m. Jan. 30.
“You can make appointments for those blood drives by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org; however it is not required,” she said.
Mann said donors must be 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID or Red Cross Donor Card is also required.
“We are always looking for people to host a blood drive too,” she said. “For more information on hosting a blood drive you can call our Talladega office at 256-362-2061 or our St. Clair office at 205-884-1221.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.