published Friday, January 14th, 2011

Snow, ice worsen blood bank shortage


by Emily Bregel

HOW TO HELP

Blood drives today:

• Krispy Kreme, 5609 Brainerd Road, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Every donor gets a dozen glazed doughnuts and Huddle House meal card.

• Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, 811 Broad St., 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• The Chattanoogan hotel, 1201 Broad St., 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• McDonald's in Lookout Valley, 156 Brown's Ferry Road, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Source: Blood Assurance

Snow and ice this week have worsened blood shortages for the region's only blood bank.

"We were already short last week on O-negative and B-negative," Blood Assurance public relations representative Lacey Wilson said Thursday.

Blood Assurance leaders hope to replenish deepening shortages with four blood drives scheduled today throughout Chattanooga.

In the aftermath of a major snowfall early Monday morning, Blood Assurance remained closed that day and operated on shortened hours Tuesday, putting the blood bank at a donation deficit from the beginning of the week, Wilson said.

"Any kind of school [blood] drives we've had have been canceled," she said.

Blood donation buses based in Chattanooga were sidelined as weather prevented trips into the region for blood drives, Wilson said.

To meet the needs of local health care facilities, Blood Assurance must collect about 400 blood donations per day, she said.

"There's a 95 percent chance that an individual will need blood by the age of 72, and Blood Assurance is the only source of blood donations for the region," she said. "We really need the community to step up if you're able to get safely to any of our locations or blood drives. We could really use your help right now."

Across the Southeast, blood collection efforts have been hindered by this week's snowstorm.

American Red Cross blood drives across the Southern region lost about 6,000 donations, in addition to 2,000 donations lost in the Northern states affected by the storm, according to a release from the American Red Cross.

about Emily Bregel...

Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...

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