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United Blood Services issue Urgent Appeal

Winter storm stalls donations of all blood types


TUPELO — On the heals of an already slow holiday season for blood donations, the snow storm in Tupelo and Mississippi’s northeast region have left United Blood Services’ shelves bare. With schools likely remaining closed through next Tuesday, many blood drives have been cancelled and participation at others is lower than expected. And yet the need for blood remains. 

“We understand the difficulties donors experience when dealing with weather of this nature,” says Harry Brown, UBS Center Director for the Tupelo location. “Many other responsibilities can take priority. The fact is that we still need our community to rally to supply our hospitals with blood to save lives.” 

All blood types are welcome with O-positive, O-negative, B-positive and A-negative most urgently needed. “We haven’t seen stock this low in 3 years,” adds Brown. “And our platelet stock is suffering as well.” Platelets are used for many treatments, including for those undergoing chemotherapy. Their shelf life is very short — only 5 days — whereas whole blood units can last 42 days. 

Donors are welcome to make appointments online at www.UnitedBloodServices.org or by calling 662-842-8871. The Tupelo center at 4326 S. Eason Blvd. is open everyday with extra staff to accommodate walk-ins. Its hours are as follows:

 

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

11 a.m.

7 p.m.

Wednesday and Friday

9 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

8 a.m.

2 p.m.

Sunday

Noon

6 p.m.


For those who hesitate to travel, blood mobiles are out in the community and also open to the public. By calling the number above, donors can ask for blood mobile locations. Also, donors could consider joining with friends and family to donate together. It only takes an hour of one’s time to save the lives of three people. 

Donors are asked to bring a photo ID and donor card every time they donate. First-time donors will receive a card with their blood type in the mail shortly after their first donation. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

 

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