Lifeline Blood Services announced Tuesday that West Tennessee’s blood supply is at a critically low level and that blood types O positive, O negative, B positive, and B negative are needed right away.
A Lifeline Bloodmobile will be accepting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Lowe’s in Paris.
“Less than a day’s worth of blood supply is on our shelves, so we have issued a critical appeal,” Lifeline’s marketing manager Melinda Reid said. “It’s the blood on the shelves that saves lives, and we need donors to step up and make the time to donate. We cannot manufacture blood products, so please donate today so we can serve West Tennessee patients.”
The shortage is caused by low donor turnout at mobile blood drives, from which 75% of its blood supply is donated. Additionally, Lifeline has struggled to get donor numbers back to where they once were prior to the pandemic.
This is a problem nationwide, which hinders Lifeline’s ability to import blood from other blood centers. From an individual perspective, many donors have fallen out of the habit of giving.
“This is a critical shortage, and we need everyone to donate at either our Jackson or Dyersburg centers or on one of our mobile blood drives in order to save lives,” she said. “You never know when you will be the one on the receiving end in the hospital needing blood.”
Lifeline provides blood services to 21 West Tennessee counties, including 18 hospitals and 14 emergency helicopter service locations and one ground ambulance service. These include Henry County Medical Center and both medical helicopter services located at Henry County Airport.
Annually, the centers collect about 26,000 blood products (red cell units, platelets, plasma, etc.) to meet the needs of patients. Of that total, 75% of those products are usually collected on the bloodmobiles across West Tennessee.
Lifeline also provides reference lab and cross-matching services to health care facilities. For more information, visit lifelinebloodserv.org.
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