LifeSouth asks Alabama to help after hurricane

After damage from Hurricane Matthew, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers need help from Alabama blood donors to serve patients in Florida and Georgia. CONTRIBUTED
After damage from Hurricane Matthew, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers need help from Alabama blood donors to serve patients in Florida and Georgia. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – The devastating effect of Hurricane Matthew has dramatically affected the means for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to obtain blood.
Currently, LifeSouth is working nonstop to supply necessary blood supplies to meet the demand for the Florida area and in Georgia.
“Hurricane Matthew has halted blood donations in Florida and the blood supply has now reached emergency levels,” Victoria Bell said. Bell works as District Community Development Coordinator for LifeSouth.
“LifeSouth Community Blood Centers need help from Alabama blood donors to serve patients in their neighboring state,” Bell said.
“With dangerous weather in Florida causing blood drives to be canceled, we really have some ground to make up,” LifeSouth Vice President of Operations J.B. Bowles said. “We are urging donors to come in and help.”
LifeSouth doesn’t use the word ’emergency’ lightly, Bell said. The company only uses the distinctive yellow and black emergency signs when reserve levels drop to less than a two-day supply. LifeSouth needs to continuously supply the more than 100 hospitals it serves in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
“This year, many of our communities have been swamped with heavy rain and local flooding, which has made an impact on the blood supply,” Bowles said. “We need platelet donations and all blood types every day, but right now donors are especially needed.”
“If you don’t normally give, now is when we need you most,” Bowles said.
Donors must be 17 years old or older, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A 16-year-old can donate blood with parental permission. A photo identification also is needed.
For more information, call LifeSouth’s toll-free number 1-888-795-2707 or visit lifesouth.org to find the closest blood drive or location near you.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers’ Madison office is located at 8190 Madison Blvd. For information about donation times in Madison, call 1-888-795-2707, extension 55003, email vlbell@lifesouth.org or visit lifesouth.org.

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