Newton Medical hosts community blood drive

COVINGTON — In recognition of National Blood Donor Month, Newton Medical Center will host a blood drive through LifeSouth Community Blood Centers from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday in the Physician’s Pavilion Auditorium.

Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months, especially January, due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. A reduction in turnout can put the nation’s blood inventory at a critical low. January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month to encourage donors to give or pledge to give blood.

With the slogan, “Do Something Amazing, Give Blood,” LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is a community blood supplier for local hospitals in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, including Newton Medical Center. Each year, nearly 5 million Americans need a blood transfusion. To meet the demand, LifeSouth collects 300,000 blood donations a year. That’s 836 donors a day working with 31 donor centers, 39 bloodmobiles and more than 1,000 blood drives a month.

“LifeSouth does a great job getting people in and out quickly when giving blood. Currently we have a big need for blood, please donate,” said Newton Medical Laboratory Manager Debbie Tuten.

Each donation saves three lives and every donor will receive free snacks, a cholesterol screening and a LifeSouth T-shirt. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16-year-olds may donate with written parental permission), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in general good health. Remember to bring a photo ID and prior to your donation, drink extra caffeine-free fluids, eat a good meal and get plenty of sleep the night before. Also, refrain from intense exercise or heavy lifting after giving blood.

NMC’s blood drive is open to the community. Anyone wishing to donate blood is recommended to call ahead and schedule a time, even though walk-ins will be welcomed the day of the blood drive. To schedule an appointment, please call Human Resources at 770-385-4363.