Mississippi Blood Services needs all to help prevent blood shortages

From press reports

Once again icy weather and winter advisory conditions have shut down schools, businesses and made travel hazardous. The impact on Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) is canceled drives and appointments. Of course we want our donors safe, so we expect them to stay home when conditions warrant it; we want our blood donors to continue to be donors and not recipients. However, the need for blood is always present and the shortage of donors could put the supply at critical levels.

We ask those organizations that have had to cancel blood drives to set up new dates and times at their earliest convenience. And we are asking those of you who have never given blood to please consider doing so now. Because severe weather has caused us to cancel several drives, our blood supply is low. To keep it from becoming critical, we need our donors to come in at their earliest, safest convenience and help replenish our supply. Lives literally depend on it.

“Every day Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) ships out approximately 230 units of blood and blood products to Mississippi’s hospitals,” Tony Bahou, manager of communications and public relations, said. “Our labs and Hospital Services Department are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to meet that demand—even during winter storms. But we can’t do it without volunteer blood donors. Human blood comes from only one source—healthy individuals who donate blood.”

Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days. Platelets, a blood component collected through a process known as apheresis, have a shelf life of only five days. All blood products have a two day processing time—which is part of the product’s shelf life. Unfortunately, when a patient needs blood the need is often immediate. The only way to prevent a critical shortage is for volunteer blood donors to come in, roll up their sleeves and donate blood on regular basis. It will take a little of your time but it will give someone else a lifetime.

Please call 1 (888) 90-BLOOD (888-901-5663) or go online at www.msblood.com to schedule your life-saving appointment today. Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with signed parental consent, visit our Web site for a copy of the form), weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid ID. Donating blood: it’s safe, it’s simple and it saves lives.

Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) was founded in 1979. Mississippi Blood Services is the only not-for-profit blood center headquartered in Mississippi. MBS supplies a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products to Mississippi hospitals from the Tennessee line to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mississippi Blood Services is Mississippi’s blood service.