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Blood drive extended

A light turnout of donors for the City of Picayune employee blood drive has prompted an extension to try to reach their goal of 52 donors.

Last week the drive only had about 31 people who were able to donate blood, said Picayune Blood Center Supervisor Annie Hallmark. There were some employees and people who came to donate but donor restrictions kept them from donating, such as low iron levels. If a donor does need bring their iron levels up Hallmark suggests taking Flinstones or any other vitamin that is high in iron.

Regular donor requirements are that donors must be 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds, Hallmark said. Donors with high blood pressure can donate as long as their blood pressure is stable.

Blood collected at the Picayune Blood Center goes to Highland Community Hospital and other hospitals in the surrounding area, Hallmark said.

Any city of Picayune employee can donate or a friend can donate to help get the remaining 21 people necessary to reach the goal. After a donor gives their blood they will receive a card in the mail with their blood type, date donated, date they can donate again and their cholesterol level at the time of donation.

If the drive can reach their goal of 52 donors then every City of Picayune employee will have unconditional blood coverage for one year, Hallmark said. That unconditional coverage will guarantee them free blood in the case of a medical emergency.

“If you do run into a problem it can be very costly, blood can be very expensive,” Hallmark said.

The extended drive will take place Dec. 19 and 21 from noon to 7 p.m. and Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hallmark said the Blood Center’s supply of O negative blood is extremely low and if there are any donors in the area a donation would be appreciated.

The Picayune Blood Center is also in need of employees. Hallmark said prospective employees can apply at thebloodcenter.org or they can stop by the Picayune location and fill out an application.