Blood Assurance is calling on the community to give blood before Christmas. Blood donors are needed every day to help patients in area hospitals and usage around Christmas increases while the amount of donations decreases. Blood Assurance is encouraging anyone who can give blood to please do so before Christmas to help area patients in need.
"We must prepare for higher usage around the holiday, and with our inventory already at low levels it is essential that donors give now," said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. "If you have ever thought about giving blood or you are an eligible donor, please give the gift of life to a patient in need this year.
Blood Assurance will be hosting a drive with Williamson Medical Center at the Bone and Joint Institute on Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will be giving away $50 grocery cards every hour to donors at the blood drive. Donors will also receive fleece blankets and be entered to win a home improvement basket containing $400 in gift cards to Target and Lowe's as well as two stockings stuffed with lottery tickets.
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. They are also accepting donors by appointment only and these appointments are being spaced apart to ensure adequate distance. 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. Blood Assurance is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
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. To schedule an appointment for this drive, please visit bloodassurance.org/BoneandJoint12.23, call 800-962-0628, or text 'BAGIVE' to 999777.