MEMPHIS — Just like first responder groups, our blood supply must be at-the-ready when patients need it. Lifeblood is asking for donors to pledge to be a First Blood Responder and donate three times in 2018, starting in January. First Blood Responders will help ensure that blood is already at the hospital BEFORE emergencies and disasters happen. If each donor donates three times in 2018, a stable supply of all blood types will be created and in turn, more lives will be saved.
“The 2017 year brought unfortunate situations, from hurricanes and wildfires to active shooters,” said Mitzi Breaux, marketing and communications manager with Lifeblood. “Through these situations, one thing remains the same; it’s the blood on the shelf that is donated before the tragedy that saves lives. We don’t know when or where the next emergency situation will arise. Your pledge to be a First Blood Responder will help ensure that blood is on the shelf before the tragedy. The need is greatest between times of great need.”
Donors can pledge to be a First Blood Responder at lifeblood.org/pledgetosave. All January donors receive a “Power to Change to the World” T-shirt, while supplies last.
All blood types are always needed; however, donations from donors with O negative type blood (the universal blood type that is most transfused in trauma situations) are in high demand year round.
Donors can find a donor center, hours of operation and can schedule an appointment to donate at lifeblood.org or call (888) 543-3256. Walk-ins are welcome.
Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History the day they donate. It’s at lifeblood.org.
Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.
Headquartered in Memphis, Blood Systems’ Southeast Division consists of Lifeblood operations in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi and United Blood Services (UBS) operations throughout South Louisiana, Mississippi and West Alabama. Together, Lifeblood and UBS must collect approximately 2,000 blood donations each week to support patients at nearly 140 hospitals and healthcare facilities. The division includes 10 donor centers and operates an average of 380 blood drives monthly. Blood Systems, one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, serves more than 100 hospitals across six states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.