David Parrish

David Parrish, a junior at St. Bernard, donates blood during a recent LifeSouth Blood Drive at Saint Bernard Prep.

In order to help with the ongoing need for blood donors, The Cullman Times is hosting a LifeSouth blood drive on Monday, Aug. 16. Blood donor turnout declines during the summer months, impacting the local blood supply as national blood shortages remain. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers urges the community to donate now.

Summer is always a slow time for blood donations, but LifeSouth reports this year is especially difficult as the need for blood to help patients in local hospitals increases. Those who did not seek medical care during COVID-19, now need medical treatments, including blood transfusions. Traumas may also increase as travel resumes. Huntsville Hospital, Decatur General, Athens-Limestone, North Alabama Medical Center, Marshall Medical Center North and South, Crestwood Medical Center, Parkway Medical Center, Lawrence Medical Center, Helen Keller Hospital, Cullman Regional Medical Center, Red Bay Hospital, Russellville Hospital, Madison Hospital, Gadsden Regional Hospital, and Lakeland Community Hospital all rely on LifeSouth and donors to make sure blood is available before it is needed to help patients suffering from traumas, cancers and chronic illnesses.

On Aug. 16, the LifeSouth bus will be parked outside The Cullman Times at 300 4th Ave. SE from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“As a community newspaper, it’s important to us that we be there for the community,” said Times General Manager Katherine Miller. “There is a great demand for blood donors and the staff at The Times is happy to do what we can to meet that need. We encourage anyone who is eligible to donate to come out that day and give the gift of life.”

It is a great time to become a blood donor and learn your blood type, or for regular blood donors to donate and bring a friend. All donors receive a thank you gift, and a mini-physical, including blood pressure, temperature, iron level and cholesterol screen.

Those who received the COVID-19 vaccine, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna, are eligible to donate blood if they are symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation.

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is needed. If you can’t make it on Aug. 16, LifeSouth’s donor centers are located in Albertville, Cullman, Decatur, Florence, and Madison. LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will also be out at many locations in coming days. For additional information about donation or to find a blood drive near you, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org. Appointments can also be made online.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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