Universal Blood Donors Needed Immediately to Save Lives

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Blood Assurance has only 15 units of O-negative blood on its shelves, the organization announced Thursday. The nonprofit, which provides blood and blood supplies to multiple area hospitals, is pleading for universal donors to come forward and donate.

“In the United States, less than 10% of our population has O-negative blood, but 100% of the population can accept that blood in an emergency,” said Christopher Swafford, chief operating officer for Blood Assurance. “The demand is very high right now at multiple trauma centers we serve.”

The 15 units of O-negative blood is less than a day’s supply, according to Swafford. Blood Assurance needs to collect at least 50 units a day at a minimum.

To convince universal donors to donate, Blood Assurance is giving away a $20 Amazon or Mastercard gift card to all O-negative donors through April 30. The gift card promotion is applicable at its brick-and-mortar donation centers and mobile blood drives.

Blood donors are urged to visit bloodassurance.org/schedule to view a list of all upcoming blood drives and to schedule an appointment. Donors can also call 800-962-0628, or text BAGIVE to 999777. Walk-ins will be accepted.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more, and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council, and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.

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