Nonprofit regional blood center Blood Assurance is in critical need of blood donations as inclement weather has caused people around the region to stay home and cancel appointments, according to a news release.
The center is running out of O negative, O positive and A negative blood and is urging people to donate at a local center or bloodmobile if they are able.
"We have been in critical need of O positive and O negative for a week now," said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. "Due to weather, flu, and other circumstances, donors have not been able to come in. We ask that anyone who can donate please give this week to build up supplies."
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, according to the release.
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.
"Because we are in critical need we are asking healthy donors to come replenish the supply," said Jay Baumgardner, director of marketing and community relations for 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."
Potential donors can schedule an appointment by visiting www.bloodassurance.org, calling 800-962- 0628 or texting 'BAGIVE ' to 444999.