The following Blood Assurance centers will be open on Monday, May 26 — Memorial Day — from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Hixson, downtown Chattanooga and Tullahoma in Tennessee; Rome and Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia and Abingdon, Va.
All other affiliated blood centers will be closed that day. The lab will be open to process, test and type previously donated units for patients in need at our area hospitals. Blood Assurance serves 47 counties in a five-state region, and is the sole provider of blood and blood components for over 70 healthcare facilities.
During the holidays, because more people are traveling through our area, more accidents are happening, and the boating and swimming season typically gears up on Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, though the need for blood rises blood donations decrease during the summer months and around holidays, mainly because schools are out, and people are vacationing away from home. When a typical automobile accident occurs, the victim, if he or she needs blood, can use more than 50 units.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and T-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal rich in iron prior to donating.
For more information about donating blood, please call Blood Assurance at 1-800-962-0628 or go to www.BloodAssurance.org.