Urgent need for blood due to coronavirus disruptions

America is facing an extreme blood shortage, and UAB, along with national authorities, are urging people who are healthy to give blood.

Editor's Note: The information published in this story is accurate at the time of publication. Always refer to uab.edu/uabunited for UAB's current guidelines and recommendations relating to COVID-19.

COVID 19donationjoomlaBlood drives scheduled for next week at UAB are moving to a more appropriate location at the Colonnade. The blood supply in America and locally is in extremely short supply, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham is strongly urging the public to donate blood. There are safe and effective ways to donate while maintaining social distancing practices.

“The Surgeon General of the United States, the CDC and FDA are all encouraging Americans to donate blood during this crisis,” said Marisa Marques, M.D., medical director of transfusion services at UAB. “The issue is simple: without an adequate blood supply, people will die.”

UAB is holding an emergency blood drive through the end of next week with the American Red Cross and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.   

The UAB drive runs from March 23 through March 27 at 3419 Colonnade Parkway, #400, adjacent to the Flying Biscuit Cafe.  

Get the latest COVID-19 information at uab.edu/coronavirus.

Donors must go online to schedule an appointment to help ensure that other donors and staff are protected. 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.

Donors should make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org or LifeSouth. Donors will need a photo ID.

UAB Drive, 3419 Colonnade Parkway, #400

  • Monday, March 23, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., LifeSouth
  • Tuesday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., LifeSouth
  • Wednesday, March 25, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Red Cross
  • Thursday, March 26, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Red Cross
  • Friday, March 27, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Red Cross 

The drive is co-sponsored by the Flying Biscuit Cafe and Shannon Waltchack, LLC., managers of Colonnade Retail Investors. The Flying Biscuit Café will be providing snacks and drinks for all donors. The restaurant will also provide meals to staff working at the drive and will donate a portion of their proceeds from the week to LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and the American Red Cross, which are not-for-profit agencies.

Shannon Waltchack is generously providing the location for the drive. The company encourages the community to come to the Shops of the Colonnade and support the emergency blood drive.

The Colonnade location is more appropriate than UAB Hospital to minimize the threat of exposure to patients and healthcare workers.  

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.  

Blood products are used during surgery, transplantation, trauma care, difficult pregnancies and cancer treatment. It is not unheard-of for a single patient to require as many as 100 units.