Meridian blood drives set for this week

The American Red Cross of Illinois has issued a 'Blood Emergency' saying nearly 17,000 donations were down during the Fourth of July week. (MGN)

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Vitalant has scheduled community blood drives for this week in Meridian.

One will be Thursday at Rush Hospital in the Specialty Hospital Classroom, 1314 19th Ave., from from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The other is Friday at Bonita Lakes Mall, in the Meeting Room, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Vitalant says one person's donation can give up to three patients a chance for recovery.

“Donating blood is important during the summer months,” said Beverly Clark, donor recruitment representative with Vitalant. “Donations drop but blood usage goes up during the summer months, so it is important that donors donate regularly this time of the year.”

You may schedule your appointment to donate by calling 877-258-4825 or by clicking the attached link.

Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History the day they donate.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.