Donations May Suffer During Summer, Holidays
BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
OPELIKA — About 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion each year and according to Community Blood Center, the average donation of a single pint of blood can save up to three lives.
LifeSouth, the sole provider of blood to the East Alabama Medical Center, announced this month a need for more blood donations to fuel the blood supply to local hospitals like EAMC.
“While there can be emergency needs for blood donations any time of year, it can especially be a struggle in the summer and around holidays when people are on vacation and when many Auburn students are away,” said Jarrett Loveless, director of laboratory services at EAMC.
Donations of O-Negative blood, known as the “universal red cell donor” type, are especially beneficial since they can be used to treat patients of any blood type; however, only about 7% of the population has O-Negative blood.
But while O-Negative blood is the most beneficial, hospitals still need to keep stock of all types.
“We have a target amount we like to keep on the shelf each day for each type of blood,” Loveless explained. “We order units daily to replenish our supply, and LifeSouth is almost always able to send what we need to keep us at our threshold. Occasionally, as we have experienced recently, the shortages are felt here when LifeSouth is unable to supply enough units to keep us at our threshold.”
As of now, Loveless said the hospital’s supply is stable, but the need for blood will not end.
“LifeSouth provides 100% of our blood products at EAMC, and we’re very thankful for that,” he said. “We encourage people to donate with them because increased donations with the Opelika LifeSouth—either at their center next to the hospital or on one of their buses at area blood drives — is extremely beneficial for EAMC and can have a direct impact for our patients.”
This week’s “Bloodmobile” donation opportunities are as follows:
East Alabama Medical Center – Lanier, 4800 48th St. in Valley, at the left side of the circle in front of the hospital from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Target, 2640 Enterprise Dr. in Opelika, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Target, 2640 Enterprise Dr. in Opelika, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Walmart, 3700 Hwy 431 N. in Phenix City, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Walmart, 1717 S. College St. in Auburn, from noon to 6 p.m.
Kroger, 1401 S. Gilmer Ave. in Lanett, from 1 to 6 p.m.
Culver’s, 2080 E. University Dr. in Auburn, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Title Cash, 904-A Gilmer Ave. in Tallassee, from noon to 5 p.m.
Village Square Shopping Center, 20th Ave. in Valley, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CVS Pharmacy, 10 Gilmore Ave. in Tallassee, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Donors may also schedule an appointment any day to donate through LifeSouth’s Opelika Donor Center. The center is open Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Donors may schedule an appointment for whole blood, double red cells, platelets or plasma donation by calling 334-705-0884 or visiting www.donors.lifesouth.org/donor/schedules/zip. The center is located at 505 East Thomason Circle, next to EAMC in Opelika.
Blood donors at any site must be at least 17 years old — or 16 with parental consent — and weigh at least 110 pounds. For more information on donor qualifications, visit www.lifesouth.org/donor-faqs/.