Blood Assurance and blood banks across the nation are seeing the lowest number of blood donors since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago.

The pandemic severely impacted blood collections and numbers are not bouncing back while regular surgeries and blood transfusions due to trauma continue. This is very concerning to blood centers and hospitals across the nation as blood cannot be manufactured. The community must replenish the blood supply to save patient’s lives. The blood donors of today save the lives of patients tomorrow. Currently Blood Assurance is asking all eligible community members to give blood.

“There is no substitute for blood so blood products must constantly be replenished by volunteer blood donors daily. Blood is essential and as members of our local community, we are asking you to do your part to make sure we have enough blood on the shelf.” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “It is imperative that we see more blood donors now. Make an appointment to donate today to ensure patients have the life-saving products they need.”

Blood Assurance, which has a donor center in Fort Oglethorpe, is in critical need of O-positive and O-negative blood and in urgent need of B-positive, B-negative, A-positive, and A-negative blood. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to give as soon as possible. Donors can make an appointment or find a drive or center by visiting bloodassurance.org/schedule, calling 800-962-0628, or by texting BAGIVE to 999777.

All donors will receive a T-shirt 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. 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. Donors who have received a Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to donate blood with no waiting period. Blood donated by individuals who have received the vaccine is completely safe for patient transfusion.

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.

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