Some area blood banks are operating on less than a two-day supply of type O negative blood. This universal type can be given to patients with any blood type in emergency situations.
There is also a community shortage of type O positive blood, the most common blood type. Donors who do not know their blood type can call Blood Assurance at (800) 962-0628 or the American Red Cross at (615) 893-4272.
Summer shortages are a frequent occurrence at blood centers across the country. The average donor gives blood just twice each year. According to America’s Blood Centers, if eligible donors gave blood just one additional time each year, blood shortages would be rare.
Upcoming local American Red Cross blood drives will be held on Aug. 14 at the American Legion in Tullahoma from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and on Aug. 20 at Walgreens in Fayetteville, located at 100 Huntsville Highway, from 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Prospective donors can also call the Tullahoma Blood Assurance office at (931) 461-5773 to schedule an appointment. The office is located at 1500 North Jackson Street next to RadioShack in Northgate Mall.
Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors are eligible to give blood every 56 days.
For more information about local blood drives, call the American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee Chapter at (615) 893-4272. •