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Blood supply already feeling the heat

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As summer heats up, LifeSouth is already seeing a drop in donations and could face serious shortages if additional donors don’t step forward.

“Shortages are something we battle every summer, and we’re already facing a shortage of O-negative blood that’s so important for emergencies,” said LifeSouth Vice President of Operations JB Bowles. “For those people who donate occasionally, now is the time we need you most. For those who have never donated, now is the time to try.”

Bowles explained part of the challenge is that so few people donate regularly – only about 5 percent of Americans.

While donations have already started to drop, July 7 could be when supplies go from bad to worse. That’s the first Monday after the July Fourth holiday weekend.

“We always see an even steeper drop in donations around the Fourth because people are busy celebrating, but the accidents that come with the holiday travel can spike the demand for blood. The need climbs even higher when surgeries that were postponed during the holiday all quickly ramp up Monday,” Bowles said.

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. For more information on donation call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org.