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Blood collectors call for regular donors

McDONOUGH — Officials are urging residents to make blood donations a part of their New Year’s resolutions.

Sidonia Gause is the Georgia District Director for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. She sent out a letter, encouraging people to consider becoming regular donors.

“Every two seconds somebody in the United States needs blood,” Gause said. “While we are at work and all through the night, that need never stops. Fortunately, a small group of citizens here in Georgia helps to make sure that blood is there for cancer patients, trauma victims, newborn babies and all those who need it.”

Kirsten Stancil is a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. She said the blood supply is sufficient for the Red Cross but there is always a constant need for blood donors.

“We’re always looking for Type O donors or universal donors,” Stancil said. “There’s a constant need for blood especially during the holidays and now is a great time to donate.”

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people who are at least 17 (or 16 with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood to the Red Cross.

Gause said blood donated to LifeSouth is reserved for local hospitals. When there is a sufficient supply, extra blood supply is sent elsewhere before it expires — 42 days for red blood cells and five days for the platelets used for trauma and cancer patients.

“Here in Georgia, we need hundreds of donors each week just to meet the needs of our local hospitals,” said Gause. “Those occasional critical shortages LifeSouth faces could be eliminated if just one more person in 100 would take up this challenge of paying it forward by becoming a blood donor.”

The LifeSouth bloodmobile will be at the following Southern Crescent locations this week: Walmart, 135 Willow Lane in McDonough, today from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.; Best Buy, 1861 Jonesboro Road in McDonough, Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and Walmart, 5600 North Henry Blvd. in Stockbridge, Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Residents will also have opportunities to donate at Fun Bowl, 300 Ga. 155 South in McDonough, Jan. 21 from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m.; Truett’s Grill, 1785 Jonesboro Road in McDonough, Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.; Walmart, 11465 Tara Blvd. in Lovejoy, Jan. 25 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.; Legacy Ford Mercury Inc., 413 Industrial Blvd. in McDonough, Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and Lovejoy High School, 1587 McDonough Road in Hampton, Jan. 31 from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The American Red Cross will be accepting donations at the South Metro Blood Donation Center in Stockbridge. The center at 675 Southcrest Parkway is open for donations Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., Wednesday from noon until 7 p.m., Thursday from noon until 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.