Blood donations suffer in critical summer months

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – While the people of Orlando have seen a huge turnout in a time of tragedy, there’s a need right here in the Jackson-Metro area.

Mississippi blood services typically struggle for donors during the summer months.

“It’s a need for the blood. So um, that’s the least I can do.”

Laura Guillory is a regular donor at MS Blood Services. She gives platelets for cancer patients every two weeks.

Guillory survived breast cancer in 2006.

“After I found out I could start back giving blood I started back giving platelets,” said Guillory.

MS Blood Services take whole blood donations, double reds, or even platelets for burn victims and cancer patients.

“Here in Mississippi, we have small-scale tragedies that happen every single day. From a car accident to patients that have emergency surgeries or cancer patients that they need the products when they need it,” Merle Eldridge with Mississippi Blood Services.

Blood donations are usually low during the summer months when where there is a big demand for it.

“We need to see almost 120 donors in one day to have 7 units of O negative blood,” said Eldridge.

Eldridge says only seven percent of the population has an O-Negative blood type.

“O-Negative is usually what’s used in tragic incidents when they don’t know the blood type,” said Eldridge.

After the mass shooting in Orlando, MS Blood Services is holding a blood drive for the State of Mississippi.

“If something like that was to happen here, we want to makes sure that the blood supply is available to get to the hospitals the second they need it,” said Eldridge.

Guillory is encouraging everyone to donate blood.

“You can’t always give money and that doesn’t always help. There’s always a need for the blood,” said Guillory.

You can contact MS Blood Services at (601) 981-3232 or (888) 90-BLOOD.

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