Blood and Plasma Donation 2020

The blood bank Blood Assurance in Maury County is in "critical need" of platelet donors, according to a Thursday evening press release.

The blood bank is also now offering donors a free COVID-19 antibody test, a beach towel or a $10 Amazon gift card as a means to draw more donors.

“Platelets are critical in the treatment of cancer patients and are also used for trauma patients,” said Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “We are in serious need of platelets at this time and are asking the community to please donate as soon as possible."

Platelets are disk-shaped blood cells that help stop bleeding by way of blood clotting. People with certain blood disorders may not be able to produce platelets of their own, with chemotherapy treatment also destroying platelets.

In the midst of the 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.

Those who donate during the summer will receive a double-sided pocket T-shirt and can be entered to win a Big Green Egg grill if donating twice over the summer.

“Blood Assurance will be giving three Big Green Eggs away to donors who give twice June through September,” reads a press release. “High school students who give right now will also receive double points toward their Cord of Courage, a special 'Socially Engaged' wristlet and an entry to win a pair of Apple Airpods.”

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 www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.

Founded in 1972, Blood Assurance serves more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina, and states its mission as providing “safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.”