MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Lifesouth Community Blood Center says there is now an emergency need for blood donations in our area.
When Lifesouth says there's an emergency need for blood donations, they're not exaggerating.
"It is indeed an emergency. It means we're down below a two-day supply, in some cases a one-day supply. And that's when we send an alert out to the community," said Melinda Hinds with Lifesouth Community Blood Center. "The process itself only takes 10 minutes and you've saved up to 3 lives so, you know, we encourage people to come in and spend 30 to 40 minutes because that 30 to 40 minutes could mean a lifetime to somebody else."
Supplies were already on the low side but recent school closings due to the weather also caused their planned blood drives to be canceled.
It's also important to keep in mind that blood donations need to happen before those lives are in danger.
"People need to remember that if they donate blood today, that that blood will not even be available for patients until say 24 to 48 hours from now because that blood needs to be tested. So we encourage people that we don't want to wait," Hinds said.
The blood that's donated stays right here in the community. In fact, you could literally be saving the life of one of your neighbors by donating
"Lifesouth is the primary blood supplier here. We supply all of the local hospitals at 100 percent which means every d rop they get from us," Hinds said. "Every blood product they get from us. And it comes from people right here in this community who donate. It's going to save someone's life and someone is waiting on that blood so it's very important. "
If you want to donate blood, you must be 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Sixteen-year-olds can also donate if they want to, they just need their parent's permission.
To find a LifeSouth donor center or bloodmobile, you can call LifeSouth at 888-795-2707 or go to www.lifesouth.org.