Spring travel leads to blood shortages - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Spring travel leads to blood shortages

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

This is the time of year where families start making weekend trips, it is also the time of year where blood banks start seeing shortages.

That shortage can be problematic for hospitals. 

Earl Ard said he first gave blood at a high school blood drive, continued through college and a few years ago started giving platelets.

The process of giving blood is quick and easy and only takes around 30 minutes.  Giving platelets takes a little longer.   

"It's about a 2-hour process but it's not too bad," said Ard.                                                  

Even though the process he takes is longer, he knows it's worth it.  

"Especially during heavy travel times and things like that, you know, everybody needs to be a little conscientious. Take the extra time and take a couple of hours and sit in a recliner and get some snacks and watch TV and you know, help somebody out," added Ard.

Before donating, there are a few steps he takes.  

"I just make sure I have a decent breakfast and I have a glass of orange juice or milk before I come here, just some fluids," explained Ard.

Victoria Bell is the district community development coordinator for LifeSouth.  She said there are some other guidelines donors should follow.   

"First of all the thing that's most important is to bring a photo ID," said Bell. "Second, be completely hydrated as best as possible. Start doing that prep a day early if you can. Healthy foods, alleviating the fatty type food is really good. If you're 16 years of age and it's in a state where they're allowed to donate, they need to bring a signed permission slip."

She said make sure you can roll your sleeves past the elbow and make certain to allow yourself plenty of time.

"Your one donation can save up to three lives.  And when you do Giving with LifeSouth, your blood actually stays local because we supply strictly to our local hospitals," added Bell.

For more information on Lifesouth, click here.

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