Blood drives set to ease seasonal shortage

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Blood supplies and donors are facing increased demand inJanuary.

Demand on the supply typically increases from November toDecember because of holiday related traffic accidents, said DeloresMcKinnis, marketing director for Mississippi Blood Services.

More people also tend to schedule elective surgeries during thistime to miss less work and because relatives will be at home moreto help them through their recovery, she said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Both of these factors contribute heavily to an annual shortageof blood following the holidays, and this year is no different,McKinnis said.

The demand for blood increases just as the number of donorsdecreases, she said, further complicating the shortage.

“People are usually too busy with their holiday activities todonate,” McKinnis said. “Also, this is the cold and flu season andthey can’t donate if they’re sick or under medication.”

Mississippi Blood Services steps up the tempo of its blooddrives during the holidays and into late winter to helpcompensate.

During a MBS blood drive Tuesday, Tammy Lewis of Brookhavenadmitted she wasn’t a regular donor but recognized the need andwanted to help. She also resolved to help more often.

“I want to try to give regularly,” she said.

Earline Abrams of Brookhaven, who also donated at the blooddrive, does give regularly.

The importance of donating blood was made real for her when hermother was killed in car accident. She had donated regularly since,she said.

“It’s been about 20 years since I started doing this,” Abramssaid. “They call me now when they have a blood drive to set anappointment.”

Wanda Carney said she didn’t donate regularly, but she wouldlike to begin to do so.

“I try to give as many times as I can,” she said. “I feel like Ineed to. It takes what, one hour to save a life? It’s not that muchtime.”

Carney’s one hour time estimate included waiting in line to beseen, the screening process, and the actual blood-drawing, shesaid.

“And they were pretty busy when I got here. It’s been prettynon-stop,” she said.

There is one more MBS blood drive planned in this area forJanuary, McKinnis said. The Bloodmobile will be at King’s DaughtersMedical Center Jan. 20-21 to collect blood. It will be on site from8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 20 and from 12:30-6:30 p.m. Jan.21.

“We try to make it as convenient as possible for those who wantto donate to work around their work schedule,” McKinnis said.”Hopefully, with the two days, and two different time schedules,we’ll be able to draw in more donations.”

Walk-ins will be welcomed, she said, but those who wish to makean appointment to speed up the process can call Joanna Sproles,KDMC marketing director, at 835-9366.