LaGrange Daily News and LifeSouth will host a blood drive in the Daily News parking lot Thursday.
The LifeSouth Bloodmobile will be at 105 Ashton St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who wish to donate.
LifeSouth, with a regional base in Opelika, Alabama, and hub in Atlanta, is the exclusive blood supplier locally for patients in need. It also is currently experiencing a shortage and officials said donations are critical.
LifeSouth officials said earlier this month that blood supply is at an emergency level, meaning supplies are below a two-day level to replenish the more than 100 hospitals it serves in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. It currently lists an urgent need for O negative and A negative blood types with two to three days’ supply on hand and a critical need for B negative with less than two days’ supply available.
“Every summer is a challenge, but this year with the early arrival of extremely hot weather, we’ve been on a critical shortage since mid-May,” said J. B. Bowles, LifeSouth vice president of operations, in a press release. “… We have seen a steady decline in donations, but patient needs remain high. … When the blood supply is this low, lives are on the line. Please help.”
Donors of all types and platelet donors are needed immediately, he added.
“Because platelets can only be used for five days after donation, and they are so needed by cancer patients, they are always needed,” Bowles said. “The need for O negative is also always with us because it’s the universal donor and can be used by anyone in times of emergency.”
Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required.
Anyone seeking more information about blood donation may call LifeSouth toll-free at 1-888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org.
Reach LaGrange Daily News at 706-884-7311.