Blood Assurance is pleading for donors after a serious decline in donations during fall break for many area school districts.
Over the course of the last week, the nonprofit experienced a 90% reduction in donations, compared to the week before. As of Monday, Oct. 17, it had just a one-day’s supply of O-positive, O-negative and B-negative blood units available for distributionto more than 70 regional medical facilities.
“With so many folks traveling, fall break really hurt us,” according to Dr. Liz Culler, chief medical officer for Blood Assurance. “Blood transfusions are taking place every two seconds, so it’s imperative we get people to our donation centers and mobile blood drives over the next couple of days.”
Platelet donations are also in critical demand, with fewer than 30 units on the Blood Assurance shelves.
“Ideally, we’d like to have more than 60 units available every day,” said Culler. “Platelets are needed by patients who experience trauma, bleeding during surgery, patients with aplastic anemia, transplant recipients, patients with leukemia and patients receiving treatment for cancer.”
As a token of appreciation for donating, Blood Assurance is giving all donors an autumn-themed coffee mug through the end of the month.
Donors can schedule an appointment at www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, or by calling 800-962-0628, or texting BAGIVE to 999777. Walk-ins are always accepted.
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.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and theChattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.