UAB Medicine and LifeSouth urge blood donation

The holidays are typically a time of low blood supply, a situation worsened this year by the pandemic.

peace.2UAB Medicine and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers are holding a blood drive in mid-December. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted usual blood donation patterns, and holidays are frequently times of low blood supply.

The drive will be held Dec. 15-17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Prince of Peace Catholic Parish, 4600 Preserve Parkway, Hoover, AL.   

Donors must go online to schedule an appointment to help ensure a safe donation environment. Appointments can be made at LifeSouth. Safe distancing will be observed, and appointments will limit the number of people donating at any one time. Donating blood is safe, and donation staff are appropriately disinfecting all surfaces at the donor locations. 

“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.       “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.