Blood supplies are low. UAB Medicine and LifeSouth host mobile drive

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal blood donation patterns, leaving the nation’s blood supply perilously low.

UAB Medicinedrive 2 and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers are holding a blood drive Jan. 26-28, as blood supplies remain low due to the disruption caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  

LifeSouth’s mobile unit will be parked in front of the Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, 2000 6th Ave. South, Birmingham, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 26-28.  The drive will be open to UAB employees and the public.   

“There is always a need for blood products, especially now during the pandemic,” said Marisa Marques, M.D., director of Transfusion Services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. “Hospitals need suitable reserves for those patients who need a blood transfusion, such as those with cancer, sickle cell disease, undergoing emergency surgery, trauma victims or post-partum women. We urge you to please consider donating blood at this time of need.”

Donors of all blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

UAB is one of the largest users nationally of blood supplied by blood collection agencies. Donors can give blood up to six times a year, every eight weeks. The process takes about 45 minutes; the actual blood collection usually takes less than 20 minutes.