On Monday, WAAY 31 hosted a blood drive for LifeSouth.
Blood donations are something hospitals always need. Tyne Berry, LifeSouth Donor Services Team Leader, told WAAY 31 she had to receive a blood transfusion in 2018. All the blood she received was from LifeSouth donors.
Berry had a stomach ulcer that caused her to need to receive blood from LifeSouth. She said she never expected she'd be the grateful recipient of blood that she draws from people at LifeSouth. Berry said she is thankful people took 30 minutes out of their day to donate blood because it helps save lives like hers.
“One day at work, at Life South, I got dizzy and I fell down at work and so I went to the hospital and they found out I had internal bleeding and I lost a lot of blood," said Berry. "So, I had to receive 15 units of blood or else I wouldn’t have made it.”
Berry had to receive 15 units of blood but on average it takes 50 units of blood to save a car accident victim. Berry told WAAY 31 she is still unable to donate blood due to her incident but once she is able to, she plans to donate as much as she can to help others in need.
LifeSouth made sure they kept all their donors safe by doing temperature checks and increased all cleaning protocols. LifeSouth District Director, Kelley McPhail, said they are following all CDC guidelines.
“We do social distancing, our staff are wearing face masks, they wear protective equipment to ensure that they are safe as well as our donors are safe," said McPhail. "We’re doing extra precautions, extra cleaning to sanitize all of our surface areas.”
All donors will receive a free COVID-19 antibody test. If donors have the antibodies, then their blood donation will be used for convalescent plasma treatments.
LifeSouth is experiencing a blood donation shortage. So, when blood donations come in, they're in such high demand they get put to use right away.
Berry told WAAY 31 hurricane Sally caused two LifeSouth locations to close. This makes the need for local blood donations even greater.
“We had to shut down from the hurricane, we had to shut down Montgomery and Mobiles Life South, so now we’re collecting for them also," said Berry. "So, it’s like we have to work twice as hard to make sure that everybody, the hospitals have enough blood.”
LifeSouth is encouraging everyone who can donate blood to do so. If you would like to donate blood, you can find a LifeSouth blood drive by clicking here.