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Emergency need of all blood types, LifeSouth says

MADISON – LifeSouth Community Blood Centers has announced an emergency need for all blood types and urges the community to donate blood to help patients in local hospitals.

“The current shortage is related to an increase in need at area hospitals and a decrease in donations throughout the holiday season,” Eric Franchois said. Franchois work as District Community Development Coordinator for LifeSouth.

“January is always a difficult time of year. However, this year has been significantly worse, affecting blood centers across the country,” Franchois said.

LifeSouth is the primary provider of blood to 14 hospitals in North Alabama, including Huntsville Hospital, North Alabama Medical Center, Cullman Regional Medical Center, Athens Limestone Hospital and Marshall Medical Center North and South.

“These hospitals rely on LifeSouth and need blood donors to ensure blood is available when it is needed,” Franchois said. “All blood types are needed now to ensure local hospitals have the right blood types to help patients suffering from traumas, cancers and chronic illnesses.”

First-time donors always are welcome and encouraged to try donating blood. LifeSouth provides each donor with a ‘mini-physical,’ including blood pressure, temperature, iron level and cholesterol screen.

In addition, January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month. “This proclamation is aimed at keeping the nation’s blood supply ready to meet patient needs,” Franchois said.

Donors must be at least 17 years old; however, 16-year-olds can donate if they have parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and maintain good health. A photo ID also is needed. Donors can schedule appointments online.

LifeSouth has donor centers in Huntsville, Madison, Albertville, Florence, Decatur and Cullman. LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will visit numerous locations in January.

LifeSouth’s address in Madison is 8190 Madison Blvd. Hours for LifeSouth in Madison are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon.

Hours for LifeSouth’s donor center at Huntsville Hospital, 101 Silvey Road are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call Franchois at 256-533-8246, email egfranchois@lifesouth.org or visit lifesouth.org.

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