MEDIC Regional Blood Center is asking for blood donations as soon as possible to help stabilize the local blood supply.
Additionally, MEDIC hopes to collect enough products to supply some relief to Texas blood centers who have been devastated by winter storms.
MEDIC Regional Blood Center has an immediate, critical need (less than two-day supply) for O Positive and low inventory levels (less than three-day supply) for the following: O Negative, A Positive and A Negative.
All MEDIC Regional Blood Center Donor Centers and Community Drives are accepting donations, including the one in Athens at 213 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 104.
Location Hours, directions, and Mobile Blood Drive List can be found at medicblood.org
MEDIC is requiring all donors to wear a mask or face covering.
Appointments are preferred. There is very limited availability for walk-in donors. Appointments can be made online at www.medicblood.org using the donate link or by calling 865-524-3074.
Winter weather has affected the blood supply in the region due to canceled drives and it has devastated the blood supply in the state of Texas, according to MEDIC officials.
“This is a great opportunity for our East Tennessee volunteers to help their neighbors in our region and in Texas,” MEDIC CEO Jim Decker said. “Whatever we can send them will be a big help as they stabilize their inventory.”
The CEOs of two Texas blood centers also requested aid.
“Our community needs blood and greatly appreciates those who are able to help,” CEO of GulfCoast (Houston Metro Area) Brian Gannon said. “GulfCoast was averaging 1,000 units collected per day, they have not been able to collect since Sunday. Power has been out at most of his facilities going on two-plus days.”
“Central Texas’ community blood and platelet supply is critically low as the winter storm has closed We Are Blood’s donation centers and mobile drives since Saturday,” We Are Blood VP of Community Relations (Austin Metro Area) Nick Canedo added. “Through Wednesday, we have been unable to safely open and collect donations with impassable travel conditions and power outages affecting many of our donors, volunteers and staff. Importing necessary donations from other areas of the country has been unfeasible due to airport and highway closures. While all donation types are in dire need, platelet donations, with their shorter shelf life, are especially low after several days of closures.”
There is some turnaround time to have blood ready for those who need it, as well.
“This devastation is an important reminder that the blood on the shelves now is what would be used in a trauma event and it takes at least three days for donated blood to be processed and ready for distribution,” according to MEDIC.