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Blood drive set for Saturday at Walmart

Summer often brings dry spells, not only regarding rain, but also blood donation.

“Summertime is always a critical time,” said Melinda Hinds, district community development coordinator for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. “People are on vacation, but the need never takes a vacation.”

Hinds said during summer people are on the road a lot, which usually increases the number of traffic accidents.

She said people also like to schedule their elective surgeries during the summer, causing the need for blood to rise.

But because people are on vacation or are otherwise preoccupied, businesses and schools don’t hold as many blood drives, causing the supply to drop.

To help boost the supply, LifeSouth will hold a blood drive in the Clanton Walmart parking lot Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For those planning to give blood, Hinds offers a few tips: “Drink plenty of water. Eat a light breakfast,” she said. “You don’t need to do it on an empty stomach.”

Hinds said donors need to bring photo identification and must weigh 110 pounds or more and be at least 17 years old.

Donors who are 16 years old must have a parent sign a consent form, available at the Bloodmobile.

Hinds said the entire donation process takes only 30-40 minutes.

“That 30 minutes can give someone life,” Hinds said.

Hinds said 1 pint of blood could go a long way.

“It can save up to three lives, but it depends on the need of the individual at the time,” she said.

Hinds said all blood types are needed, but particularly the negative blood types, especially O-negative.

LifeSouth is a community blood center, which means the blood collected will go to local facilities.

“We don’t ship it off to another state,” Hinds said.

All donors will receive a “Blood Donors in Paradise” T-shirt and will be entered for a chance to win a $500 travel voucher.