UAB Olympic blood drive aims to whip winter weather woes

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from Feb. 17-27 to celebrate the Sochi Olympics and help boost blood supplies reduced by recent bad winter weather.
blood drive 4Winter storms across the nation in January caused widespread disruption of normal blood donation patterns, leading to low blood stocks in many hospitals.

The drive runs at the UAB Hospital North Pavilion second-floor atrium Feb. 17-22, and at UAB Highlands Hospital on Feb. 25-27.

All blood types are needed. Donors should bring a photo ID. Free parking is available in the North Pavilion parking deck and the UAB Highlands parking lot. Each donor will be entered for a chance to win one of six $100 gift cards.

Hours at the North Pavilion, 18th Street and Sixth Avenue North:
Monday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Hours at UAB Highlands, 1201 11th Ave. South:
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

UAB is one of the largest users nationally of blood supplied by the Red Cross. Donors can give blood up to six times a year, once 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.