AU Health and local blood bank partnering to fight shortage

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:43 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases locally, Shepeard Community Blood Center is sending out a critical appeal for blood donations, specifically O positive and O negative, as well as platelets.

The shelves at Shepeard are bare, and this could negatively impact patient care.

Augusta University Health is partnering with Shepeard to hold blood drive events to help end this shortage.

“These are unprecedented times,” said Dr. Kevin Belanger, Shepeard president and CEO. “Now, more than ever, we need blood donors to give just 30 minutes of their time to save three lives in our community with their donation.”

AU mobile drives for this week include:

  • Jan. 11: Inside the lobby of the AU Professional Building 1, 1447 Harper St. The drive will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All donors will receive donor store points, and an Amazon e-gift card.
  • Jan. 12: Inside the Oak Hall dorms, 830 Spellman St. The drive will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. All donors will receive donor store points, an Amazon e-gift card and a voucher for an on-site food truck.
  • Jan. 14: Bloodmobile at the Georgia Cancer Center, 1411 Laney Walker Blvd. The drive will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All donors will receive donor store points, and an Amazon e-gift card.
  • Jan. 14: On a bloodmobile in the front of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, 1446 Harper St. The drive will run from 2-6 p.m. All donors will receive donor store points, and an Amazon e-gift card.

Rule changes

Some criteria have changed, which may affect your donor eligibility; if you were ineligible before, we encourage you to try again. Some recent changes to donor eligibility include:

  • There is no longer a deferral for tattoos or piercings received in Georgia or South Carolina if your procedure was done at a licensed facility. A Shepeard associate can tell you if you are eligible.
  • Shepeard Community Blood Center can now accept donations from military members who were previously deferred.

Some individuals will still be deferred and unable to donate due to their previous travel. They include:

  • Those who have lived/spent time in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands for a total of three months or more between 1980 and 1996.
  • Those who lived/spent time in Ireland or France for a total of five years between 1980 and 2001.

Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17 years old (or 16 with written parental consent) to donate. Be sure to bring a photo ID or Shepeard donor card with you.

Call Shepeard at 706-737-4551 if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

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