Blood donors needed in Tuscaloosa, beyond

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Gracie Johnson

West Alabama needs more blood, and DCH Health System is encouraging anyone who’s capable to donate.

On Friday, DCH Director of Clinical Laboratories Mark Deakle said the system usually has about 55 units of Type O-positive blood. That morning, there were 17 units. For blood donors and those needing blood, O-positive is highly necessary because it can be used in patients with most other blood types.

If you’re worried about the donation process, Deakle said it’s pretty quick.

“The process is really simple,” said he said. “You just show up, they ask you a few personal questions. It should take no longer than 30 to 45 minutes to donate a unit of blood. The process is relatively painless and it doesn’t take long at all. You shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

DCH Health System gets its blood from LifeSouth. If you’re interested in donating, you can find a local LifeSouth blood drive right here.

But DCH Health System is far from alone in experiencing blood shortages. The American Red Cross is also in dire need.

Red Cross Central Alabama Chapter Executive Director Tomalisa Washington said blood donations are imperative, especially during the beginning of a new year.

“The beginning of the year is a very challenging time,” said Washington. “You have weather issues typically with winter storms. Also the issue of illness, so sometimes people postpone giving blood and so that creates that shortage so we are very much aware of it. And we really, really are encouraging people to get out there and make sure that you’re giving blood because it absolutely saves lives.”

If you’re looking for a potential perk to donating blood, the American Red Cross is partnering with the NFL and Peyton Manning so one lucky donor can win a pair of tickets to this year’s Super Bowl.

You can find more information right here.

Categories: Local News