Hospitals Face Blood Shortages During Spring Break

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TENNESSEE VALLEY (WHNT) – As Easter weekend approaches, many are enjoying a spring break. But for our community’s hospitals, it is one of the most difficult times of the year.

Schools and colleges close and people prepare for vacations, prompting a dramatic decline in the blood donations that are essential for our local hospitals to function.

A rise in traffic accidents due to increased travel leads to a higher number of blood transfusions. This causes the community’s blood supply to drop to critically low levels just when it is needed most.

Local hospitals have already begun to feel the impact of spring break on the community’s blood supply, and anticipate even lower levels throughout the holiday weekend.  A shortage presents a serious problem for hospitals; blood is essential for treating accident victims, cancer patients, newborn babies and many others.

“Every patient whose life is saved by a blood transfusion is someone’s child or parent, husband or wife, coworker or friend, so when there is not enough blood to support the needs of our local hospitals, we suffer as a community,” said Galen Unold, director of recruitment and retention with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. “We urge everyone to help their community’s hospitals at this difficult time by donating blood as soon as possible.”

Donors must be 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required.

There is a LifeSouth Donor Center located on the ground floor of Huntsville Hospital, between the main lobby and the gift shop. Every unit collected at the center is tagged specifically for Huntsville Hospital patients. For more information, please call (256) 265-6340.

The center’s hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.


All donors at the Donor Center or blood drives at Huntsville Hospital receive:

  • $20 gift card to a local movie theater
  • LifeSouth recognition item
  • Cholesterol Screen