Blood donation

To help put a dent in a severe blood shortage, the Blood Assurance blood bank of Maury County will be giving away $50 Publix gift cards every hour and $10 Amazon gift cards to O blood-type donors on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

"We need donors to donate and help us ensure we are able to meet the needs of our hospitals, especially with New Year’s Eve and Day around the corner,” said Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “We need to be prepared for traumas around New Year’s Eve and we need our community’s help.”

A nonprofit organization, Maury Regional is down to less than one day's supply of O-type blood, and facing severe shortages of other blood types. Ideally, the nonprofit strives to maintain at least a five day's supply of all blood types.

In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Blood Assurance is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of staff and donors, including staff wearing masks and regular disinfecting of items and surfaces.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent, and weigh 110 pounds or more. Prior to donating, donors are also asked to drink plenty of fluids, to avoid caffeine and to eat a meal rich in iron.

To schedule an appointment or find a donor center or mobile drive, those interested are encouraged to visit https://www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call (800)962-0628, or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.