Cold and flu season affects blood supply

Medic Regional Blood Center reports an emergency need for blood types O Negative and O Positive. “We have been struggling with these two types for quite a while. We have seen an increase in the demand for blood in our area and it has been difficult to find donors who are feeling well and healthy,” said Christi Fightmaster, Medic spokesperson. “The sickness that has been going around affecting schools, families, businesses, etc. is also having a major impact on the blood supply,” she said. Inclement weather last week also played havoc with blood drive schedules and some had to be cancelled. “We just have a lot stacked up against us this time of year but the need remains constant.”

To give blood visit one of the two Medic donor centers or visit your community blood drive. Medic is located at 1601 Ailor Avenue in downtown and also at 11000 Kingston Pike in Farragut near Pittsburg Paint. Community schedules are listed:

n Tuesday, March 11, Colonial Hills Nursing Center, 2034 Cochran Road, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Bloodmobile.

n Wednesday, March 12, Cherokee Health and Fitness, 1412 Sevierville Road, noon to 7p.m., Bloodmobile.

All donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh 110 pounds or more. Donors will receive a free T-shirt, cholesterol evaluation (no fasting required) and a year’s credit towards Medic’s Family Blood Coverage Program. This program exempts donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood collection or processing fees at any U.S. hospital if a transfusion is needed.

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