The local blood supply is in critical need of replenishment, according to Blood Assurance.
As of Tuesday, the nonprofit had less than a two-day’s supply of most blood types on its shelves. Blood Assurance is calling on those with O-positive, O-negative, A-positive, A-negative, and B-negative blood to immediately schedule an appointment.
Blood Assurance officials said the timing could not be worse due to schools letting out for summer break in the days and weeks ahead. During the school year, Blood Assurance hosts multiple blood drives on a weekly basis at high schools, colleges, and universities.
“We lose about 15% of our donor base in the summer because classrooms are empty,” said Dr. Liz Culler, chief medical officer for Blood Assurance. “With our current inventory dwindling, if a major trauma event were to occur, that supply could be completely wiped out unless we get donors now.”
Blood Assurance is giving away a United We Give, Memorial Day themed t-shirt to all individuals who give the gift of life at a mobile blood drive or donation center.
Donors can schedule an appointment at www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628, or text BAGIVE to 999777.
To be eligible to donate blood, donors 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.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. 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.