The need for blood is high

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The need to give blood is at an all-time high, according to those who collect the blood and ship it to hospitals.

According to Rhonda Carpenter with LifeSouth, the organization has less than a one-day supply to provide to Alabama hospitals.

If there is a traumatic accident that would require large amounts of blood, it’s possible there wouldn’t be enough blood to available to service the hospital’s needs.

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As of Monday, Carpenter told the Valley Times-News there have been mornings where LifeSouth hasn’t been able to fulfill hospital’s orders for O Negative and O Positive blood types.

We find this extremely scary. And we would like to put a call out to anybody and everybody to donate blood if you are able. It’s not just about yourself — it’s about anybody who may need it.

It would be even more terrifying if you or a loved one need blood and the doctor had to deliver the news that there isn’t any available. It’s not even something that many of us would think is a problem.

The next opportunity for Chambers County residents to donate blood — at least in the county — will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Bradshaw-Chambers County Library.

There will be another LifeSouth bloodmobile ready to take anybody willing to donate. The buses travel to places that are convenient, like schools and places of work because more people are likely to donate there.

When going to donate, the process takes about 30 to 40 minutes. Donors must have a valid driver’s license or identification and if a donor is younger than 16 years old, they must have their parent’s permission. The donor will undergo a quick mini-physical, be asked about their medical history and recent travel experiences and then they donate.

A typical donation is about a pint of blood, or 500 milliliters, which is a tiny amount. Carpenter said most people don’t see any side effects, but if something were to happen, there is a staff on hand to make sure everything is fine.

After you’re done, you get a snack, juice and a free T-shirt. Free food and clothes in exchange for a pint of blood. Not the worst deal.

Also, more people are eligible to donate than they think. Obviously, if you’re sick or running a fever, you wouldn’t be able to donate at the time, but even those diagnosed with diabetes may be able to donate. It’s definitely worth having the conversation if it could help save somebody’s life.