MEDIC Regional Blood Center open for donations on Christmas Eve

MEDIC Regional Blood Center open for donations on Christmas Eve

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Giving to the blood drive this Christmas Eve Giving to the blood drive this Christmas Eve

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - While many people were scrambling about, searching for those last minute Christmas gifts, a number of locals spent their Christmas Eve giving the gift of life.

They were donating blood at MEDIC Regional Blood Center, which says those donations are needed now more than ever.

Nearly every chair was full at MEDIC's Ailor Avenue location in Knoxville Tuesday morning, taken up by people like Bonnie Romines, there to donate blood.

"I've been doing this since 1997. I go twice a month. 24 times a year," said Romines, of Knoxville. "I give blood, platelets, plasma. Whatever they need."

MEDIC decided to stay open on Christmas Eve this year to take donations because they say the need for blood never takes a holiday.

They are the sole provider of blood for most East Tennessee hospitals.

"We have to provide 300 units of blood a day to 28 hospitals in 22 counties. We need to be open to get the donations we need for our hospitals and our patients," said Mike Prowell, Director of Business Development for MEDIC Regional Blood Center.

They hope by staying open and encouraging people to come in, they can make up for the major drop in donations they typically see over the holidays.

"People are busy shopping and traveling. Some days it's as many as 100 units below what we need," said Prowell.

Donating only takes about 30 minutes, and each donation can save up to three lives.

"It's a great way to give back this time of year. There is a need for blood at all times," said Prowell.

Those lives that they can save is the reason people like Romines decided to spend Christmas Eve giving blood.

"Once you see a walking result, your heart just pounds out of your chest. Thinking that you could be one of them that helped out," said Romines.

MEDIC will be closed for Christmas Day, but will be back open for the rest of the week.

"The blood on the shelf is what saves the lives," said Prowell.

No matter what blood type you are, MEDIC is asking everyone who can find the time to please donate this week.

Their major needs right now are for O and B Negative blood types.

Once a donation is taken, that blood can be in one of our area hospitals in as quickly as 24 hours.

For a full list of hours this week and this coming weekend, visit MEDIC's website or call them at 865-524-3074.

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