Blood Assurance, a full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in five states, is in critical need of donors, according to a press release sent Monday from the nonprofit.
A shortage has occurred due to fewer donor appointments, continuous drive cancellations and increased hospital usage in the Blood Assurance service area. Less than one day’s supply of O-negative remains on the shelf, and O-positive, A-positive and B-negative red cells are also in need at this time, with only about two day’s supply available.
“O-negative is the universal blood type that can be given to anyone in need, which is why it is always used in trauma situations,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “It is imperative that we get O-negative donors in as soon as possible.”
Blood Assurance is asking everyone with these blood types who can donate blood to please do so during this time of critical need. It says it is the sole provider of blood products to the hospitals in this area. Donating blood with Blood Assurance, per the company, is the only way patients in this area will be able to receive the blood products they need.
Currently, Blood Assurance has several blood drives scheduled, where donors can give blood for local patients. Blood Assurance will be holding drives at the Bone and Joint Institute in Franklin every Tuesday during September from 12-5 p.m. Blood Assurance will also be hosting the following drives in Williamson County in the month of September:
Sept.16 — Hyundai of Cool Springs
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sept. 17 – Franklin Park
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All donors who give will receive a Team USA blood donor beach towel, a BALifesaver pocket tee, or a Patriot Day tumbler, and can be entered to win a Big Green Egg grill if they donate twice before October 1.
Donors can encourage a friend, loved one, or family member to make an appointment to donate and will receive an extra entry to win the Big Green Egg. Blood Assurance will be giving three Big Green Eggs away to donors who give twice June through September.
Blood Assurance says it 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 health care 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, visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.