Blood drive to honor first responders

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

Last Friday, The Blood Center declared an urgent need for all Rh-negative blood types, especially O negative, a release from the Blood Center states.
However, prior to this declaration, a community blood drive honoring first responders was already scheduled for this Friday, Blood Center Donor Recruiter Kristi Womack said.
“It just happened to coincide with our need,” she said. “Walgreens wanted to recognize our first responders to let them know they care.”
According to the release, the center has less than a day’s supply of O negative blood currently available. Supplies of the blood types A negative and B negative are also declining.
According to the Americas Blood Centers website, more than 30 community blood centers in the United States have less than a one day supply of O negative.
During the summer months, donations tend to drop, the release states.
Low supplies can jeopardize patients in critical need, Womack said.
“We’re going into hurricane season with a critical supply of resources,” Paul Adams, Public Relations Manager for The Blood Center, said in the release. “Our staff, electricity, travel and collections can be easily affected during hurricane season, making the need for a stable three or more days’ supply of blood all the more important for area patients before and after a potential disastrous situation.”
All blood types are needed, but O negative blood donors are highest in demand since O negative is a universal donor blood type, the release states. O negative blood is also given to newborns in need of a transfusion.
In order to serve the 40 area hospitals in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi, The Blood Center needs to collect 300-350 units of blood daily, the release states.
Joey Fortier, store manager of the Walgreens, located at 2209 Hwy. 11 N., said they wanted to reach out to the community and help The Blood Center.
“We want to show our community and first responders that we care,” he added.
The blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, donors will receive a free T-shirt and Coca-Cola will give away a mystery prize to one donor.
The Coke wagon will be there and pizza will be provided for donors and first responders, Womack said.
Each donor will also sign a certificate of appreciation, a copy of which will be given to the Picayune Police Department, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and the Picayune Fire Department, Womack said.
According to the release, any healthy person who is at least 17 years old and weighs more than 110 pounds can donate whole blood every 56 days. Bring a photo ID and be sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids, prior to donating.
People who wish to schedule an appointment prior to Friday’s event can contact the store at 601-799-2087 or Womack at and 985-635-9613.

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