More To The Story: Blood Donations

Dave finds we don't give as much as we used to

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – J.B. Gaskins has spent decades in the industry of blood. He’s forgotten more about blood than we’ll ever know.

Gaskins will tell you that during any crisis, any tragedy, people will respond by giving blood. For example, after this past weekend’s shootings in downtown Chattanooga, Blood Assurance asked for donors. The response was outstanding.

It’s during the OTHER periods of time that proves to be a challenge.

“Statistics show that since 2014, donations have gone down in every age group except 50 and above. Even during the pandemic.”

Gaskins says it’s not that people don’t care. Simply a fact that if a life changing event isn’t happening to you, many times, folks just don’t think about giving blood.
Blood Assurance, which is a non-profit, services close to 80 medical facilities. From Bowling Green, Kentucky……down to Cartersville, Georgia.
Each Blood Assurance facility wants to have at least a five day inventory on the shelf. That’s 600 units. Of all blood types.
Lower than that…..and it keeps the staff awake at night.

“Unfortunately, when the inventory gets to a certain level….if we have a 3-5 day supply, we’re OK. When it’s below that, we’re nervous. For the last two years, for O-Positive and O-Negative, we’re lucky if we have a two day supply. So it’s been difficult.”

Gaskins says that there’s so much that goes on “behind the curtain” if you will. What the staff does with blood, platlets, plasma. He encourages the public to stop on by and take a tour. One might be surprised. And inspired.

“I always encourage people to take a tour. The more we educate people is better.”

Remember, you won’t get paid for strictly giving blood. But you will receive something, to include a gift card.

Head to the Blood Assurance website for more.

Dave Staley, News 12 Now

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