Severe weather threat is impacting an already critically low blood supply in Mid-South

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Master Sgt. Stephanie Washington, 379th Expeditionary Medical Support Squadron Diagnostics and Therapeutics flight chief, inspects a red blood cell unit before placing the unit into a box to be shipped at the Blood Transshipment Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Jan. 13. The center shipped nearly 23,000 units of blood to more than 30 forward operating locations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

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Information provided by Vitalant

MEMPHIS — The severe weather expected in the Memphis area has caused the cancellation of blood drives and adjusted hours of operation for the donation centers. This storm brings further impact to an already critically low blood supply.  In order to replenish the supply, it is imperative that donors make time to donate in the days after the storm has passed.

Blood donations are down over 21,000 after the holidays and this severe weather event provides another obstacle to rebuilding our community’s blood supply.   Vitalant strives to maintain a 4-day supply of type O blood; currently we’re at less than half that amount.

Cancellations and closures have resulted in the loss over 100 units of life-saving blood and platelets. Donors are strongly encouraged to give blood in the days after to immediately rebuild the community blood supply.

January is National Blood Donor Month, a critical time for new donors to step up and make blood donation a life-transforming habit.

The Memphis area donation centers will be all be open on Saturday, Jan. 11  from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

To schedule an appointment to give blood, go to vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825. Walk-in donors are always welcome.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.

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