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Hospital plans to build holiday blood supply

Staff Report

As we approach the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays, the continued critical shortage of blood nationwide is of major concern for area hospitals.

In anticipation of even greater demand for blood, Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis will sponsor a blood drive on Tuesday, November 22 from noon to 5 p.m. in the hospital’s classroom. All donors will receive a T-shirt.

All blood types are needed, especially type O negative and O positive. Of all hospital patients who will need blood, 50% will use type O. United Blood Services is once again operating with less than a half day’s blood supply which could be wiped out completely with one emergency.

To donate blood, you must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, have not donated in the past 8 weeks, and are not currently taking antibiotics. Also, United Blood Services requires donors to show identification containing a legal name and one of the following: date of birth, social security number, United Blood Services assigned donor number, or photo of the donor. Some types of identification are: driver’s license, UBS donor card, social security card, security badge (picture and donor’s name) and passport.

According to United Blood Services, which serves Marengo, Greene, Hale, Clark, Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Sumter and Pickens counties in West Alabama, along with other facilities in East Mississippi, someone needs blood every three seconds. These patients may be accident victims, undergoing surgery, or patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer and other diseases. The blood donation process is safe, quick and easy and could help to save a life. All who are eligible are encouraged to give the gift of life on Thursday. For more information, call 287-2626.