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Mississippi Blood Services

Mississippi Blood Services, founded in 1979, is the largest non-profit blood service headquartered in Mississippi, currently employing about 200 Mississippians. MBS has become a household name through its widespread community involvement and partnerships with other non-profit organizations for events all over the state. Its message for everyone is, “donate blood”; regardless of where you give it, your donation will save a life. But because of MBS’s wide spread exposure and involvement, it still collects more units per year than any other blood service operating in the state.

MBS is committed to supplying blood components: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets, to 49 Mississippi hospitals and is the only blood donation service operating within ten counties surrounding the Jackson metro area. It encompasses drawing stations located across the state as well as mobile stations that conduct drives throughout Mississippi. More than half, approximately 65%, of MBS’s donated units come from mobile drives sponsored by businesses, schools, and organizations. Each donation is drawn with a sterile one-use needle and is tested for a variety of contaminations including Hepatitis, HIV, and other hazardous medical conditions. Each unit of whole blood can save up to three lives, maybe even yours.

One example comes from Jerry Bowles, blood donor and blood recipient. Bowles was on his way back to Jackson from Vicksburg on a rainy night when he came across an accident scene. He pulled over hoping to save another’s life. Suddenly, another car topped the hill and saw the accident scene, only a little too late. The driver swerved to miss the accident and hit Bowles instead. He lost both of his legs as a result of that night. While in the hospital, he received 55 pints of blood, and those blood donors helped save his life. Even now, he donates platelets a few times a year.

Of the U.S. population, only about 50% are eligible to donate blood. Out of that group, only 4% actually do. Blood shortages of all types generally occur during the winter holiday season and summer months, often when supplies are needed most. Hospitals need donations of all blood types; for them, the rarest type is whatever cannot be found on supply shelves. Even the most common blood types are sometimes hard to find in supply. Unlike many blood services, MBS’s first priority is to Mississippi hospitals and only during a surplus will it send supplies outside of the state.

Blood donation is a simple thing most people do not think about on a day-to-day basis; however, about 97% of people will either need a blood component or know someone who will need a blood component in their lifetime. MBS will be there for you in your time of need with its commitment to supplying Mississippi hospitals with safe and adequate blood products donated freely by Mississippians across the state. If you are 17 and weigh at least 110 lbs., you are an eligible screening candidate. Even if you are not eligible, encourage someone else who is. The number one reason reported by MBS that people do not donate is because they were not asked; please consider this your formal request… “give blood”.

For more information about Mississippi Blood Services, how to donate, or about sponsoring a blood drive, please visit www.msblood.com or contact Tony Bahou, PR/Communication Manager at abahou@msblood.com

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