CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Blood Assurance is urging all eligible donors to make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible to help area patients and hospitals. A patient at one of Blood Assurance’s area hospitals used over thirty units of O positive leaving the shelves bare. O-positive was already in critical need and now is running extremely low. Blood Assurance also needs O-negative, A-negative and B-negative donors at this time. Blood Assurance ideally has five days’ supply on the shelf at all times to be prepared for the needs of area hospitals and is sitting at under 3 days for most types.
“This is a very critical need and we are asking anybody who can donate blood to schedule an appointment right now,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “Our supply was already critically low and this trauma has exacerbated that need.”
All donors will receive a T-shirt at their donation and donors who give twice in 2021 will be entered to win a side-by-side vehicle.
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 and these appointments are being spaced apart to ensure adequate distance. 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.
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, please visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga 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.