Winter weather across the region is hindering blood donors from volunteering to give life-saving blood donations at Blood Assurance. 

Because of continuing inclement weather, donations across the region are down 42 percent. Residents able to safely visit blood centers are encouraged to donate so patients in need at local hospitals can get the  blood and platelets that are so urgently needed.

Blood Assurance is a non-profit regional blood center responsible for supplying blood and blood components to 74 healthcare facilities in 51 counties. Over 540 blood donors are needed every day in order to adequately supply the hospitals served by Blood Assurance.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. 

The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids - avoiding caffeine - and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. 

For up-to-date information about Blood Assurance locations, hours and blood drives, please call 1-800-962-0628 or go to