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Blood supplies are dangerously low. Local blood drives by the Red Cross and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers can help to replenish the needed inventory. CONTRIBUTED

Severe shortages of blood, especially type O, plague local agencies

MADISON COUNTY – Two local agencies are hoping to alleviate a severe shortage in blood supplies.

A decrease in donations during summer months historically causes the blood supply to drop to emergency levels. Coupled with that scenario is an increase in need, as hospitals resume elective surgeries because many residents had to postpone medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All these factors have been detrimental to blood supply levels, according to Kami May, Community Development Coordinator with LifeSouth.

American Red Cross is recruiting donors of all blood types, especially type O. Donors also need to give platelets. “The need for blood and platelets remains crucial for patients relying on lifesaving transfusions,” Selena Hardy said. Hardy is Regional Communications Manager for Red Cross.

To prevent further delays in patient care, agencies need 1,000 blood donations daily to meet demand with an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries.

To thank blood and platelet donors through July 31, Red Cross is giving a $10 gift card for Amazon.com and will give an automatic entry to win gasoline for a year ($5,000 value). For more information, visit rcblood.org/fuel. July donors automatically will receive a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm; for details, visit rcblood.org/CedarFair.

To accommodate donors, LifeSouth will conduct blood drives at numerous locations in Huntsville and Madison:

* July 23 — Space Science Technology Center, 320 Sparkman Drive, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* July 24 — Valley Bend Shopping Center, Jones Valley, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Boarhog’s BBQ, 2118 U.S. 72 E., noon to 6 p.m.

* July 25 — Mayfair Church of Christ, Carl T. Jones Drive, 8:15 a.m. to noon; First United Methodist Church, Greene Street, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* July 26 — 24/7 Health Club, 3490 Harris Hills Blvd., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* July 28 – Tecvox, 4900 Bradford Drive NW, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dollar General, Madison, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

* July 29 — Lanier Ford, Clinton Avenue, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Neighborhood Walmart, Bailey Cove Road, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Walmart, U.S. 72, adjacent to Madison, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

* July 31 — Steeplechase Townhouses, Steeplechase Drive, noon to 3 p.m.; Redstone Harley Davidson, Hwy. 20 in Madison, noon to 4 p.m.

* Aug. 1 – Walmart, Memorial Parkway S., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

American Red Cross has scheduled drives at its Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Road SW: July 23, 24 and 25, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; July 26 and 27, 12:45 to 7:45 p.m.; July 28, 10:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.; and July 30 and 31, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m..

To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit RedCrossBlood.org or enabling “Blood Donor Skill” on an Alexa Echo device.

LifeSouth has two offices — 8190 Madison Blvd. and 12060 County Line Road. For more information, call 1-888-795-2707, ext. 55003 or visit lifesouth.org.

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