With summer approaching the need for blood donations in the Wiregrass is increasing.
LifeSouth on Ross Clark Circle is now extending their hours to Sunday, to meet the growing demand. Every three seconds someone in America needs blood. With summer approaching, more people are on the roads, which creates the potential for more accidents. Also, regular donors are taking their vacations which means LifeSouth needs your help.
"In the Wiregrass area LifeSouth has to withdraw at least three hundred units of blood and twenty units of platelets a week just to keep up with normal demand. We are the primary supplier, we supply all hospitals seven days a week," says LifeSouth Branch Manager Sandra Hollis.
Just one pint of whole blood can save up to three lives. Blood platelets are used for open heart surgery, cancer and leukemia patients.
Hollis said, "Platelets are an automated process, takes a little longer, blood is processed and only platelets are taken out."
But the shelf life of platelets is only five days, which is why LifeSouth is now open on Sundays, from one to five making it now open seven days a week.
"Sometimes we get asked, 'what’s the rarest blood type?' and it's the blood type we don't have," said Hollis.
Donating is quick, easy and relatively painless.
"They always make sure I'm comfortable, it doesn't take long, when you think about it that's somebody's life coming out of my body, to save someone, it really, it means a lot to me," said whole blood & platelet donor Rebecca Hughes.
Each year LifeSouth comes up with a different campaign to encourage people to donate.
"Our campaign this summer is camp LifeSouth and it’s centered around bringing your blood to camp for an exciting adventure" said Hollis.
LifeSouth now has a machine called Alyx that can withdraw two units of red blood cells from one donation, allowing hospitals to utilize it faster.