As Blood Assurance continues to experience a drastic drop in supply, the nonprofit is joining forces with the American Association of Blood Banks and America’s Blood Centers to appeal for public support.
According to the organizations’ joint statement, “Blood Assurance is grateful to the heroic volunteers who selflessly give blood during this pandemic. While there are many uncertainties about the months ahead, one thing that remains constant is the need for blood.
“Blood Assurance adheres to the highest standards of safety and infection control, and donors are needed to help save lives. AABB, ABC and Blood Assurance are asking all eligible blood donors to make an appointment today and to give consistently throughout the year. If everyone who gave blood once a year gave twice a year, there would never be a blood shortage.”
A full-service blood center, Blood Assurance was established in 1972 and assists medical facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. Blood Assurance has served as Cartersville Medical Center's sole blood supplier for more than 15 years.
“The blood supply across the nation is critically low and most of the country’s blood centers are reporting extreme declines in blood donations,” said Caitlin Stanley, Blood Assurance’s director of marketing and public relations. “While the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the nation and within our community, hospitals are still in need of blood.
“At Blood Assurance, our inventory has been critically low for several weeks. Hospital usage has returned to pre-COVID levels due to elective surgeries, traumas and regular travel resuming but blood donations have only decreased. We are urging eligible donors to make and keep appointments to donate blood in order to help their neighbors, friends and loved ones. The pandemic does not stop the need for blood.”
In Cartersville, Blood Assurance's donor center is situated at 334 Cherokee Place in the Main Street Shopping Center. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The supply for all blood types except for AB positive is extremely low,” Stanley said Friday morning. “We have less than a half day’s supply of O positive, O negative, B positive and AB negative. We have less than one day’s supply of B negative and less than two days’ supply of A positive and A negative. We like to see at least a five days’ supply of all blood types on our shelves.
“The supply has looked like this for several weeks actually. We need all donors who are eligible to give. We have seen about 4,800 fewer donors this year due to COVID-19 compared to last year — and counting.”
Typically, most individuals 17 and older — 16 with parental consent — who weigh more than 110 pounds can donate blood every 56 days.
“The need for blood never stops,” Stanley said. “Hospitals need blood donations in order to treat patients.
“Blood donation is essential, safe and life-changing. One donation can save three lives and only takes 45 minutes out of your day. Connect with your community by giving the gift of life to someone in need.”
Further details about donating at Blood Assurance’s Cartersville Donor Center can be obtained by calling 770-334-3261 or visiting https://donor.bloodassurance.org/donor/schedules/zip.