NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Despite lifting restrictions and dropping case counts, the COVID-19 pandemic is still hurting our country's blood supply.
Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky certainly aren't immune. NewsChannel 5 is hoping to help contribute to a solution. But, we need your help. We are partnering with Blood Assurance to host a community blood drive.
Blood Assurance relies so much on mobile blood drives, and the reduction in turnout is startling. Blood Assurance’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Liz Culler said the shortage is dire.
She said she's seen a lot during her decade-plus tenure with the company.
"We currently have about a one-day supply of all blood types, and I have been here for 15 years," Culler said. "It wasn't until last year that we actually had to put out communications to our hospitals, encouraging them to cancel elective surgeries. We did that five times in 2021. And we hope to not have to do that in 2022. That's why we're calling on everyone to come out and donate blood right now."
Culler said so many people's lives were disrupted by the pandemic that giving blood perhaps dropped on their priority list, or they didn't feel safe. But with personal safety precautions in place, Culler says you can be in and out in 40 minutes or less. Each donation can save up to three lives.
You can donate at any of the six locations around Middle Tennessee: Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Franklin, Hermitage, and Tullahoma. However, NewsChannel 5 will be at the Hermitage location throughout the day.
You can even download the Blood Assurance app to fill out all of your pre-screen information beforehand, the day of your donation.