Blood Assurance needs the help of all eligible blood donors in the community. Inclement weather closed several of its facilities and blood drives earlier in the week and the threat of more severe weather could mean a shortage of blood if area donors don’t give now.
A winter storm is still causing major problems in Texas where millions of people have lost power and a state of emergency has been issued. Blood centers in Texas have reached out to Blood Assurance to help them while they are unable to collect due to lost power and impassible roads.
“At Blood Assurance, it is believed that blood is not the possession of those who collected it, but an important resource that must be shared in times of need,” said J.B. Gaskins, president and CEO of Blood Assurance. “We will always do our part to help others when we are able, and we are only able to do so because of our generous donors. We have been lower on blood than we would like to be, and to ensure we have what we need for our area patients and to help patients in Texas we need donors to give now.”
Blood Assurance will only send blood if area needs can be met first, but is hoping to be able to send blood to Texas blood centers in need as well.
At this time, Blood Assurance is asking donors of all types to please come in to give whole blood, platelets and plasma. Blood Assurance is in critical need of O donors and platelet donors, but is also low on other types.
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 also hosting a special event this Friday, Saturday and Sunday where it will be giving away a $50 Publix card every hour at centers open on these days.
Contact your local Blood Assurance if you are interested in donating plasma or platelets. If you are interested in donating whole blood or would like to schedule an appointment for a whole blood donation, please call (800) 962-0628 or visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule. To schedule an appointment to give platelets or plasma, call (800) 962-0628 to be directed to your center or contact your local center directly.
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. 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.