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Blood Assurance, with a location at 1500 North Jackson Street in Tullahoma, is issuing a plea for all blood types, especially O negative blood.
O negative blood inventory levels are critically low due to the inclement weather faced by the region. School and business shutdowns have affected blood drives across the area.
O negative blood is known as the universal blood type, and is given to patients in an emergency situation when their own blood type is unknown. O negative blood donors make up only 6.6 percent of the population.
To be eligible to donate, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.
Blood Assurance serves 46 counties in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Patients at over 70 healthcare facilities rely on the blood given by Blood Assurance donors. Every day, 440 blood donors are needed in order to adequately supply those hospitals with the blood products they need for their patients.