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Officials campaign for blood donations

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Area blood service centers are continuing to campaign for more blood donations.

"Every three seconds, someone will need blood. So, there is always a constant need," said Jil Osborne, donor consultant with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. "I think it's so important to donate, because it's the easiest way to be a hero and help save lives in the community."

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, according to Osborne, is considered a community blood service center and is the sole supplier of Henry Medical Center in Stockbridge.

The donor consultant said the organization plans to host two mobile blood drives this week. She said the first LifeSouth Blood Mobile Drive will be held Wednesday, from 1:30 until 6:30 p.m., at the Walmart Supercenter, located at 135 Willow Lane in McDonough.

Another will be held Thursday, from 1 until 6 p.m., at the Walmart Supercenter, located at 1400 Hudson Bridge Road in Stockbridge.

Osborne added that residents can make an appointment to give blood at LifeSouth's Southern Crescent Center, at 29 Westridge Pkwy., in McDonough.

Blood donors might also consider donating to the American Red Cross, a week from today. The Atlanta Motor Speedway plans to host its Sixth Annual "Drive for Life Blood Drive" with the American Red Cross, on Sept. 21, lasting from 9 a.m., until 7 p.m., in the Speedway's infield Media Center.

The blood drive, co-sponsored by radio stations, "790 The Zone," and "92.5 The Bear," aims to collect 350 pints of blood, according April Phillips, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region.

Phillips said the annual event mobilizes NASCAR fans throughout the state in an effort to help meet the on-going need for more than 1,200 blood donations every weekday.

The goal of the effort is to help maintain safe blood-supply levels and reduce blood shortages, said Phillips, who issued an urgent call for blood donors last month, due to dwindling summer blood supplies.

The blood drive, she noted, will include opportunities for donors to receive various prizes, from a commemorative T-shirt, to a chance to win a ticket package for two to the Labor Day 2011 race at AMS.

Phillips said most healthy people, age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

Those interested in donating blood to the American Red Cross can do so regularly at the American Red Cross South Metro Donor Center, located at 675 Southcrest Pkwy., Suite 120, in Stockbridge.

To schedule an appointment with the American Red Cross, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767), or visit www.redcrossblood.org.

To make an appointment at the LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Southern Crescent Center, call (678) 432-0637, or visit www.LifeSouth.org.