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MC’s Quarterly Blood Drive to Help Boost State’s Dangerously Low Supply

The Mississippi Blood Services donor coach will be on the Mississippi College campus Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 26-27, for MC's quarterly blood drive.
The Mississippi Blood Services donor coach will be on the Mississippi College campus Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 26-27, for MC's quarterly blood drive.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases attributed to the Omicron variant, a decrease in donors throughout the holiday season, and severe winter weather in portions of the state have contributed to a dangerously low blood supply in Mississippi, according to Mississippi Blood Services.

Mississippi College faculty, staff, and students can do their part to help increase the availability of blood and blood products by participating in the quarterly MBS Blood Drive from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 26-27, in the MBS Donor Coach on the Mississippi College campus.

Tammy Bouchillon, MBS senior marketing representative, said participants in the drive will be providing an invaluable service to the state’s greatest resource: their fellow Mississippians.

“We are asking the students and faculty of Mississippi College to roll up a sleeve and save a life,” Bouchillon said. “We are currently unable to meet the needs of our hospitals, and we are unable to fill about 50 percent of our orders. This means that many patients who need blood are not receiving it.”

That’s a scary proposition at any time, but toss in a worldwide pandemic, and the potential need for blood increases exponentially. The uncertainties of COVID-19 have taken their toll on blood donations, so Bouchillon encourages potential donors to consider MBS’ policies when making the decision whether to give blood.

Individuals who have had a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot are eligible to donate. There is no waiting period. Individuals who have had COVID-19 and have recovered from the disease may donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. Individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have remained symptom-free for at least 14 days may donate as well.

Valid photo identification is required to donate. All participants should eat before donating and should drink plenty of fluids before and after donating. All donors will receive an MBS T-shirt and a complimentary $10 Chick-fil-A gift card.

To avoid overcrowding during donations, participants are asked to make an appointment online. Donors without online appointments will be accepted as soon as openings become available, but may be subject to longer wait times.

To shorten the donation time, Bouchillon suggests donors complete a Donor History Questionnaire online. The questionnaire must be filled out on the day of donation – not before – but is easily accessible from all mobile devices.

“It’s fast, easy, and a real timesaver,” she said. “Getting the donors in and out faster allows us to see more donors.”

To register to donate on Jan. 26, click here; to register to donate on Jan. 27, click here. Those unable to participate in this quarterly drive can mark Wednesday-Thursday, March 30-31, on their calendars when the MBS donor coach will return to MC for the spring blood drive.