Statewide hospital blood drive planned

The Alabama Hospital Association is asking all hospitals in areas not affected by this week's storms to assist in replenishing blood supplies by encouraging their employees and their families to donate blood on Tues., May 3, and Wed., May 4.

"We've had so many hospital employees call and ask how they can help individuals in the areas hardest hit, and we thought having a statewide blood drive would be a great way to provide assistance to hospitals and more importantly their patients," said Mike Horsley, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.  "In a disaster such as this, there is always a tremendous need for blood, both immediately and to replace the ongoing supply, so we've partnered with LifeSouth and with the American Red Cross to host this two-day, Hospital Blood Donor Drive."

According to Horsley, there are 81,000 people who work in Alabama's hospitals, and employees who work in areas not affected by the storm are being urged to donate blood and to encourage their family and friends to do so as well.

"We are very grateful to those hospitals that responded to the immediate health needs of individuals in the communities affected by the storm, as well as those who have contacted us asking to help replenish the state's blood supply," said LifeSouth Vice President of Operations J.B. Bowles. "With so many people injured, the need for blood is both great and widespread."

"In the midst of tragedy, we often see the best in our neighbors and fellow Alabamians. In response to the current crisis, I fully expect the same to hold true," said Mark Beddingfield, CEO of the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. "Alabamians are a giving people, and we encourage those in unaffected areas to get involved in some way or another in easing the widespread suffering across our state."

Hospital employees and other individuals interested in donating blood on May 3 and 4 can go to the following Web sites to find the hours and locations of local drives: – click on "Find a Drive" – click on "Donating Blood" and look for Donor Center information