Blood Drive to honor Lanett resident

Published 10:07 am Saturday, December 16, 2023

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is holding a blood drive outside the Lanett Kroger in memory of Jacob Meigs. The drive will be on Dec. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET.

Meigs lived in Lanett, working as a lineman for the Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative. He died in October following an accident at his home, requiring multiple units of blood. He tragically passed and his fellow linemen led a procession through Lanett in his honor. Meigs was remembered by LifeSouth employees as a dependable donor.

“Every time we were there at Kroger in Lanett and he was eligible, he always came on the bus and donated blood. Every single time… we wanted to do something just to show our support for him and his family” said Kea Williams, the mobile team supervisor at LifeSouth.

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LifeSouth is the main supplier of blood products for the area’s hospitals, including East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier. All the products donated to their blood centers stay local. Blood can be used within 24 hours of donation, and LifeSouth will send donors a text message when the blood is used for a patient. 

“We are really in dire need right now for O negative and O positive blood…Because that’s obviously what we go through the most of,” said Caroline Russell a donor recruiter representative with LifeSouth.  

Russell adds that the holidays are an especially important time to donate due to illness, travel, and an overall decrease in donations. O positive and negative are universal donors, meaning they can be given to any blood type. This is especially useful for people in trauma situations who can not give their blood type, babies in the NICU, and sickle cell disease patients.

Aside from saving lives, LifeSouth has incentives for those who register. Donors will receive a $20 e-gift card for a regular donation, and $40 for a double donation. Holiday T-shirts will be available, free food provided by Life South, as well as the food truck, Dauro’s Kitchen. 

Individuals wanting to donate their blood must be at least 110 pounds, and 16 years or older. If under 18 years old, there must be parental consent. For other requirements visit lifesouth.org/what-you-need-to-know/. A normal blood donation takes about 30 minutes and takes a pint of blood; plasma, platelets and red blood cells. 

LifeSouth also has a double donation, which takes double the amount of red blood cells, giving the donor the plasma and platelets back. This process requires more time, saline is given to rehydrate the patient and takes an extra unit of blood. A regular donation can save up to three lives, a double donation can save up to six, and is often used for trauma patients like Meigs.