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Bluffton Funeral Services teams up with LifeSouth for blood drive

LANETT — There’s a number of ways people can help in the continuing fight against COVID-19. Public health officials continue to ask people to remain vigilant in wearing masks while out in public, maintaining social distancing, frequently washing their hands and avoiding crowds.

Another way to help is to donate blood as it’s been estimated that for every pint of blood that’s donated, three lives can be saved.

On Monday, volunteers showed up to participate in a blood drive outside Bluffton Funeral Services near the Alabama/Georgia line in Lanett. From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. EST, a LifeSouth Community Blood Centers bloodmobile was at the funeral home taking donations. There’s a continual need for blood, but right now there’s a critical need for several types of blood.

“There’s an emergency need for O positive, O negative and B positive blood,” LifeSouth District Coordinator Melinda Hinds told The Valley Times-News. “There’s also an urgent need for those who have antibodies in their blood to donate.”

Every pint of blood that’s collected is tested for antibodies at a lab. These antibodies are present in people who have recovered from COVID-19. When such blood is donated, those antibodies can help a person in the hospital with COVID-19 recover.

“Sometimes those antibodies can be in someone’s blood for one month, two or three months or up to six months,” Hinds said. “There’s no way of telling, but if they are in your blood you can help save someone’s life.”

If antibodies are detected in someone’s blood, they will be contacted and told how they can help, but they are under no obligation to do so.

They can go to the LifeSouth center in Opelika to donate blood or go to a bloodmobile that’s nearby. The schedule of where the bloodmobile can be found on any given day is available at LifeSouth.org.

Anyone with antibodies can donate convalescent plasma up to once a month, which goes to help patients fighting COVID-19.

Everyone who donates to LifeSouth receives some kind of recognition item such as a t-shirt and a free cholesterol screening. Donors must be at least 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a photo ID with them. Those who are 16 must have written parental permission with them.