Blood Assurance is in critical need of donors due to low donor turnout and an increase of usage in their service area. Only one day’s supply of O-positive remains on the shelf and O-negative, A-positive, A-negative and B-positive red cells are also in need at this time.

“Usage was very high last week and we need our community to come out in full force to help get these types where they need to be to ensure we have what we need for our local patients,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “Summer is here and that means increased travel. That coupled with our limited collection abilities due to COVID-19 can create problems with the blood supply which is why we need anyone who can donate to give now.”

Blood Assurance is asking everyone with these blood types who can donate blood to please do so during this time of critical need. Summer brings higher usage and lower donations throughout the Blood Assurance service area, and they are asking donors to come out and help keep the blood supply strong to avoid shortages. All donors who give will receive a double-sided pocket T-shirt and can be entered to win a Big Green Egg grill if they donate twice this summer. Blood Assurance will be giving three Big Green Eggs away to donors who give twice June through September. 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 Assurance is continuing to take extra precautions at this time to ensure the safety of donors and staff. Staff are wearing masks and 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.

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