DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) During the summer people are on vacation, kids are out of school, and donating blood falls to the bottom of people’s priorities. LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Dothan says the months of June, July, and August are some of the lowest times of the year for blood donations.
LifeSouth is currently looking for “O” blood types, specifically “O” negative because it’s universal. They need to collect from 400 donors every week to keep their inventory at a safe level. One person’s donation can save up to 3 lives, and all donations stay in the Wiregrass, supplying Flowers Hospital and Southeast Alabama Medical Center. To donate you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 16 years of age, and in good health.
“We want to encourage people that yes we want you to come in today,” said Melinda Hinds, LifeSouth District Community Development Coordinator. “But put it on your calendar and we’re going to help you remember because we’re probably going to send you an email or a friendly reminder hey that it’s time to donate again.”
You can donate every 56 days, or eight weeks. The whole process takes 30 to 45 minutes and those who donate will get a free t-shirt as a token.
You don’t need an appointment to donate, which LifeSouth is open seven days a week, and they have a blood mobile that goes out every day. If you’re still running low on time but want to help, LifeSouth can come to you. Give them a call and LifeSouth will help you set up a blood drive in your area. They can set one up at a school, church, or event.
You can donate more than blood. You can donate platelets which helps cancer patients and premature babies. The process for that is longer. Instead of 30 to 40 minutes like giving blood, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
If you have questions on donating blood or want to see if the blood mobile will be near you, visit www.lifesouth.org