Blood Center still low on donations

Published 11:59 am Saturday, July 16, 2022

According to Blood Center Representative Beverly Clerk blood donations continue to be low.

The Blood Center is in need of 1,200 units of all blood types just to meet the minimal need. There is also a back order of 97 units of blood from local hospitals.

For those planning to donate in the future, they should remember to eat a full meal and drink plenty of water before donating. If not, a deferred test may occur, and the Blood Center has experienced several deferred tests recently.

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This Thursday 13 people visited the center to donate but only half could because the others were deferred. Deferred tests occur when a donor’s iron level is too low or their blood pressure is too high. Blood donors can be deferred for numerous reasons. Some deferrals are to protect the donor from the risks of blood donation and in cases where the donor is found to have an infectious diseases. Deferrals serve to protect both the recipient and the donor.

Clerk provided some tips to prevent deferrals..

“The majority of them are low iron and we see this every summer,” said Clark.

She advised donors to stay hydrated with water or a sports drink, and avoid caffeine because it depletes the iron in the body. Also, donors should eat a balanced meal with red meat and vegetables. Raisins and almonds are a good source of iron, so eating those will help replenish iron levels.

The Blood Center will host a blood donation event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Picayune at the Blood Center on Aug. 1 2022 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. This event is open to the public while the Rotary Club will provide food, drinks, special water bottles and various other door prizes and drawings to donors.

Clark said she would love to collect 50 units of blood during this event. Donors can donate blood at the center located at 701 Highway 11 every Thursday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.