Local blood service asks for donations of common blood types

JACKSON, Tenn. — Lifeline Blood services is issuing an immediate appeal for blood in West Tennessee, with less than a one-day supply of certain blood types in the area.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.22.24 PMSummer months are a difficult time for local centers to collect blood. Lifeline CEO said 20 percent of their donations come from students.

“Unfortunately, patients still bleed in the summer. Patients still need blood, and we have an extreme shortage of especially type O positive and O negative,” CEO Joe Schifano said.

The shelves of O positive and O negative are almost empty. O positive is the most common blood type, and because of that it’s needed by many patients. The facility monitors the blood supply in hospitals every day as well as their own inventory.

“Because it takes a couple days to process a unit of blood, we know when the danger levels are so that donations can come in and be processed in a timely manner to get to the  hospital,” product coordinator Jenny French said.

Officials said they anticipate normal usage of blood for each hospital, but they can’t predict when a shortage will come up. What has happened over the past week is an unusual high level of patient needs for both O positive and O negative.

“We have two or three pretty significant emergencies in Jackson and they were all type O positive,” Schifano said.

As the shelves remain empty, one donor hopes his gift can save a life, and he hopes people in the area will do the same.

“Hopefully whenever I’m in need someone will come and give for me,” Rick Fisher, an O negative donor, said.

The process to donate from start to finish takes about 45 minutes. Lifeline Blood Services has extended their hours all week. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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