Nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance is calling on the Cleveland and Bradley County community to make blood donations at a local donor center or bloodmobile.Officials say the supply of O …
Nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance is calling on the Cleveland and Bradley County community to make blood donations at a local donor center or bloodmobile.
Officials say the supply of O negative blood is at at a very low level, and they are asking the community to donate to help guarantee blood is readily available for hospital patients.
“We are at a critical level right now,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “To most effectively serve local hospitals, we need to have a four to five-day supply of this blood type. The need for a steady blood supply is vital."
She said Blood Assurance is asking donors – specifically those with O negative blood type – to to make donations as soon as possible.
Each donation of blood contains plasma, red blood cells and platelets that can be used to save up to three lives. Patients undergoing surgery, receiving cancer treatment or undergoing organ transplants rely on donated blood. Additionally, the unexpected traumas seen at hospitals on a daily basis call attention to this problem of short supply.
“Donating blood is a quick and easy way to help your community.” said Jay Baumgardner, executive director of community relations for Blood Assurance. “If you are able to donate, we ask that you take 30 minutes out of your day to help your local patients and hospitals by giving blood.”
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 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 rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive near you, you can visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE ‘ to 444999.
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 76 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.
Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.
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