Emergency Blood Drive Call for Donations
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (May 28, 2020) For the second time since COVID-19’s impact, there is a critical blood shortage in the Greater Hattiesburg area. Emergency blood drives are set for Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6, at the Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center (220 West Front Street) in downtown Hattiesburg and are sponsored by Forrest General Hospital and Vitalant.
“Once again we are facing critical shortages of all types of blood,” said John Sarra, Donor Recruitment representative with Vitalant. “Due to COVID-19 and the continued closure of schools, businesses, and other entities that normally hold blood drives, our shortage is ongoing.”
Donating blood is one of the easiest ways to give back to your community. While there is a need for social distancing, this has also created a shortage in blood supplies.
There is a pressing need for Type O-specific blood, but all blood types are needed. If you gave a single unit at the last Forrest General blood drive on March 26-28, you can give another single during this drive. You will not be able to give double units.
Each year, nearly 5 million Americans need blood transfusions. Blood helps trauma and burn patients, premature infants, heart surgery patients, organ transplant recipients and those fighting cancer, among others. In emergencies, it’s the blood already on hospital shelves that saves lives.
Typically, it takes about an hour -- from the time you arrive to the time you leave -- to complete a whole blood donation. The actual donation time is only about 10 minutes.
Before you roll up your sleeve to help someone else, please take care of yourself:
- Eat a healthy, low-fat meal within two hours ahead of your donation. The day before, eat a salty snack. When you donate blood, you lose about a gram of salt. Replacing it ahead of time helps keep your blood pressure normal.
- Hydrate by drinking 8 to 16 ounces of non-alcoholic beverages one hour before you donate. Water and sports drinks are great choices.
Your simple, lifesaving action today has the remarkable power to transform lives for many tomorrows.
Donation appointments are available from noon until 6 p.m., Friday at https://bit.ly/2X6uncL and from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Saturday at https://bit.ly/2Xx27PB.
Please remember to wear a mask when you come in to donate blood and remain at least six feet from those around you.
For more information, contact Vitalant at (877) 827-4376 or vitalant.com. Their offices are located at 805 S. 28thAve., Hattiesburg.