Blood Assurance advocates for donations after TN’s winter weather

ERMITAGE, Tennessee (WKRN) – As snow fell in Tennessee, cases of COVID continued to rise. Blood Assurance has had numerous cancellations and a large number of no-shows.

In the last week alone, the center recorded more than 50 cancellations of blood drives, resulting in more than 800 units of blood not ending up in the hospitals they provide. Blood shortage is not a new problem. It’s a persistent problem since March 2020, when COVID-19 started to spread. However, recent winter conditions and the spread of the omicron variant have exacerbated the problem.

“I can tell you that our chief medical officer has had to contact our hospitals five times in the past year, telling them to put elective surgeries on hold due to COVID-related issues,” said Max Winitz of Blood Assurance. “Because the blood supply has been so low, I work with so many people who have been phlebotomists and have worked in the blood industry for years, if not decades. And they say it’s the lowest bid they’ve ever seen.

Winitz said the winter months, January in particular, are often the worst month for blood banks across the country. With the omicron variant in the mix, he called it the Perfect Storm.

Winitz added that over the weekend they opened all of their brick and mortar facilities. Some are already open on Saturdays. Most are closed on Sundays, but they have decided to open them all throughout the weekend. He said it made up for some of the ground lost last week.

On Saturday, Blood Assurance opened a new site off Lebanon Pike in Hermitage.

“Our Hermitage establishment is now open,” he said. “We are very proud that it speaks to the people of the Mount Juliet area as well as East Davidson County. So this is really exciting – in the next few months we will be opening a facility in Bellevue, to serve the needs of Western Davidson County.

This weekend, the center offered $ 10 Amazon gift cards to all donors providing whole blood and $ 20 gift cards to donors who donated red blood cells, plasma and duplicate platelets. Winitz told News 2 that the center will be giving away a 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirt to those who donate throughout the month of January.

“The biggest incentive of all is knowing that your one donation can save up to three lives and those friends, family members, neighbors in hospitals in our area, again, fight cancer or the injuries they suffered. in car accidents, a number of things, “said Winitz.

To register for an appointment to make a donation, click here. Walk-ins are welcome.

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Winitz said the center had received questions regarding COVID-19, vaccinations and blood donation. He said that if you have been vaccinated or if you have not been vaccinated, it is still safe to donate blood. He said it’s also safe to donate blood if you’ve been infected with COVID-19 in the past.

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