Blood Levels Drop in Summer Months

By: Stacy McCloud
By: Stacy McCloud

Knoxville (WVLT) - We've certainly seen plenty of hot days so far this summer, but the one-hundred plus degree temperatures out west, are causing some life or death concerns for blood banks, where mobile units are being shut down leaving blood supply extremely critical.

While we may be cooler here in East Tennessee, the summer sun is still keeping donors away.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud has more on a critical shortage of our own.

It's sunny and blazing hot, but Keith Sharp got out to give back.

"It just makes me feel good,” he says.

Summer months are already bad for blood banks, add even warmer and dryer temperatures than normal and you've got another reason people don't want to wait outside at mobile units like this one.

Big trouble since it's where 85% of donated blood comes from.

"I know that it can be a but uncomfortable but we do our best to get you on the bus as quickly as possible,” says Christi Fightmaster from MEDIC.

The wait usually isn't long at all, but if you do have to stand by, cold beverages are available and an awning is up to shield you from the sun.

Then, once inside, "it's nice and cold in here so it don't matter what it's like out there,” Sharp says.

Or you could always head to one of MEDIC’s two indoor clinics, to get in and out, quick and cool!

"There is rarely a wait at either place,” Fightmaster says.

Sun and sweat, line or no line, 350 pints of blood are needed each weekday, right now they are only averaging 250.

Add that to the fact that visitors flock to our lakes and busy by-ways and you've got a double the deficit.

"The same things that keep people from coming in to donate are the very reasons we need more blood in this area during the summer,” says Fightmaster.

A wait worth tolerating for a little while, to give something back that will last a long while.

MEDIC says the need for A+ is so great, it's been on back order.

A great way to give, is to encourage your company to have their mobile unit come to you. Not only are you giving the gift of life, there are great incentives for you and your family.

If your corporation, big or small, wants to have a mobile unit set up, contact MEDIC. If 30% of your payroll donates the day they are there, everyone in your company, regardless of who gave blood, will be part of something called MEDIC Family Blood Program. If needed, blood and blood products would be available for FREE to your employees and their IRS dependants.

Mobile Unit locations vary, but MEDIC now has TWO walk-in donor offices. One is at Western and Ailor in Downtown Knoxville, there is also a new location in West Knoxville in Farragut at 11000 Kingston Pike.

To contact MEDIC, call (865) 524-3074 or visit www.medicblood.com


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