LifeSouth Community Blood Centers faces an emergency need for all blood types and urges the community to donate blood to help patients in local hospitals, according to a news release.

The current shortage is related to an increase in need at area hospitals and a decrease in donations throughout the holiday season, the news release states. January is always a difficult time of year, but this year has been significantly worse, affecting blood centers across the country, the release goes on to say.

LifeSouth is the primary provider of blood University Hospital (formerly USA Medical Center), USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, Mobile Infirmary, Thomas Hospital, North Baldwin Infirmary, Atmore Community Hospital, Grove Hill Hospital and Springhill Medical Center. These hospitals rely on LifeSouth and need blood donors to ensure blood is available when it is needed. All blood types are needed now to ensure local hospitals have the right blood types to help patients suffering from traumas, cancers and chronic illnesses.

First time donors are always welcome and encouraged to give blood donation a try. Anyone who gives Jan. 16 through Jan. 20, will receive a free movie ticket. In addition, LifeSouth provides each donor with a mini-physical, including blood pressure, temperature, iron level and cholesterol screen.

January is also National Blood Donor Month, aimed at keeping the nation’s blood supply ready to meet the needs of patients. LifeSouth and area hospitals are urging the community to give blood now for local patients.

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is needed. LifeSouth’s donor centers are located at 967 Hillcrest Road in Mobile and 12526 Capital Drive in Daphne.

LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will also be out at many locations in coming days (see attachment for schedule of upcoming blood drives). For additional information about donation or to find a blood drive near you, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org. Appointments can also be made online.

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