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Givorns has good turnout in blood drive

VALLEY — The LifeSouth Community Blood Centers bloodmobile was at Givorns in Valley on Tuesday of this week. There was a good turnout on the part of local people donating blood. There remains an urgent need for donations, especially for blood types O positive, O negative and B positive.

Anyone who donates blood right now helps in the fight against Covid-19. Every pint of blood that’s collected is tested in a lab for antibodies present from those who have recovered from the virus.

“Sometimes those antibodies can be in someone’s blood for a month or up to two or three months,” said Melinda Hinds, LifeSouth’s district coordinator. “There’s no way of knowing without testing for it. If your blood has those antibodies it can help save someone’s life.”

The test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

People who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 often ask if there is a deferral in them donating blood. There is no deferral if they have received either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine. There could be a two-week deferral if they received a vaccine from another manufacturer.

Donating convalescent plasma is important due to promising data as an effective treatment for Covid-19. At the present time, there are no FDA-approved effective treatments for severe cases of Covid-19. Convalescent plasma was shown to be effective in treating previous outbreaks of H1N1, influenza and Ebola and in early data has shown promise in fighting Covid-19.

LifeSouth’s east Alabama donor center is located at 505 East Thomaston Circle in Opelika. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays., Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Whole blood, platelets, plasma and conventional plasma is taken there.

The red, white and blue LifeSouth bloodmobile is planning some return trips to Chambers County in the near future. It will be at Kroger in Lanett from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 3 and Wednesday, March 10 and at Piggly Wiggly in LaFayette from noon till 5 p.m. CST on Friday, March 3. The bloodmobile will be at Walmart in LaGrange on Sunday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to 4p.m.  EST and at Walmart in Opelika from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, March 4. It will be at Old Navy on Tiger Town Parkway in Opelika from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 12.

Everyone who donates to LifeSouth receives a recognition item such a free t-shirt and a free cholesterol screening. Donors must be at least 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a photo ID with them. Anyone who’s 16 must have written parental permission with them.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is a community-based blood supplier in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. It is committed to making sure blood will be in local hospitals in times of need. Among the local hospitals served by LifeSouth are the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, EAMC-Lanier in Valley and the WellStar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange.

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