Blood As­sur­ance in Fort Oglethorpe is in crit­i­cal need of donors

The Catoosa County News - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Staff re­ports

Blood As­sur­ance, which has an donor cen­ter in Fort Oglethorpe, is in crit­i­cal need of blood do­na­tions. There is cur­rently a blood short­age and a trauma this morn­ing has fur­ther ex­hausted the blood sup­ply. Blood As­sur­ance is ask­ing all its com­mu­ni­ties to please come out and do­nate blood.

“We are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a crit­i­cal need at this time,” said Dr. El­iz­a­beth Culler, med­i­cal di­rec­tor at Blood As­sur­ance. “We al­ways see higher us­age on New Year’s Eve and that com­bined with the trauma to­day and low donor turnout has led to a se­ri­ous blood short­age.”

Each do­na­tion of blood con­tains plasma, red blood cells and platelets that can be used to save up to three lives. Pa­tients un­der­go­ing surgery, re­ceiv­ing can­cer treat­ment or or­gan trans­plants rely on do­nated blood, in ad­di­tion to the un­ex­pected trau­mas seen at hos­pi­tals on a daily ba­sis. All blood used at hos­pi­tals is given by vol­un­teer donors only.

“Be­cause we are in crit­i­cal need, we are ask­ing healthy donors to please come re­plen­ish the sup­ply,” said Jay Baum­gard­ner, di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity re­la­tions at Blood As­sur­ance. “If you are able to do­nate, we ask that you take 30 min­utes out of your day to save lives in your com­mu­nity.”

Due to the in­creased need, emer­gency blood drives are cur­rently be­ing sched­uled across the Blood As­sur­ance ser­vice area. If some­one wants to find a blood drive or Blood As­sur­ance fa­cil­ity, they can visit blood­as­sur­ance.org or call 800-962-0628.

To be el­i­gi­ble to do­nate blood, you must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years old with parental con­sent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of flu­ids — avoid­ing caf­feine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to do­nat­ing. To sched­ule an ap­point­ment at a donor cen­ter or blood drive near you, please visit www.blood­as­sur­ance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 444999.

Blood As­sur­ance is a non­profit, full-ser­vice re­gional blood cen­ter serv­ing 51 coun­ties and more than 76 health care fa­cil­i­ties in Ten­nessee, Ge­or­gia, Alabama, North Carolina and Vir­ginia. Founded in 1972 as a joint ef­fort of the Chat­tanoogaHamil­ton County Med­i­cal So­ci­ety, the Chat­tanooga Area Hospi­tal Coun­cil and the Chat­tanooga Jaycees, the mis­sion of Blood As­sur­ance is to pro­vide a safe and ad­e­quate sup­ply of blood and blood com­po­nents to ev­ery area pa­tient in need.

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