Blood drive will benefit car accident victim

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

On Friday from 12 – 6 p.m. at Highland Community Hospital, United Blood Services will host a blood drive for Brittany Champagne, a county resident who was recently injured in a car accident.

Champagne, 25, is a graduate of Pearl River Central High School and former student at Pearl River Community College, said her aunt, Lois Dossett.

Champagne is the daughter of Melissa and Daniel Lee and has two younger brothers, Dossett said.

Brittany Champagne

United Blood Services will host a blood drive on Friday at Highland Community Hospital for Brittany Champagne.
Photo submitted

She described Champagne as a quiet young woman with a strong work ethic.

Dossett said Champagne is currently in the Critical Care Unit at Forrest General Hospital since undergoing a number of surgeries as a result of the injuries. Champagne still has several surgeries ahead of her and is in need of blood products.

“She’s a special person and we want her to get better,” Dossett said.

Kristi Womack, senior donor recruiter for United Blood Services, said typically one in three people will require blood products from a donor in their lifetime and encourages everyone to donate.

“If we wait until it’s someone we know and love, it’s going to be too late because of how long the blood collection process can take,” Womack said.

She said that United Blood Services typically has a critical need of blood during the summer months and winter holidays. Womack said during those times of year people are travel more and have elective surgeries, which can cause an increased need for blood.

This past January, the United Blood Services blood supplies dwindled due to unusual weather and the high volume of flu cases, Womack said.

Parental consent is required for donors who are 16-years-old, but consent is not required for donors 17 years and older, Womack said. Donors 23 and older must weigh at least 110 pounds as a safety precaution.

Womack said 30 years ago, less than five percent of the population provided 100 percent of the nation’s blood supply. In 2014, less than three percent of the population provided the nation’s blood supply.

Womack said the decrease in donors could be attributed to increased out-of -country travel and lack of education on blood donation.

She said in the last 30 years, more people have begun to travel out-of-county, which depending on the destination, can cause a person to be unable to donate for two years. Additionally, the emergence of Mad Cow Disease has taken a toll on the United Blood Services donor numbers.

If anyone is interested in donating, they can go to Highland Hospital on Friday or they can visit www.unitedbloodservices.org or call 601-264-0743.

“Our philosophy is appointments are honored, but walk-ins are welcome,” Womack said.