Blood Assurance has less than a one-day supply of Type O-negative and Type O-positive blood on its shelves, it said in a news release Wednesday. The organization, which provides blood and blood supplies to multiple hospitals in Middle Tennessee, is pleading for the public’s help in the coming days.

“With school being out for fall break, paired with high hospital usage, we are experiencing an unprecedented shortage,” Dr. Liz Culler, chief medical officer for Blood Assurance, said in the release. “COVID-19 has already depleted the blood supply, so when you add these additional factors in, it’s quite alarming.”

Blood Assurance is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to all Type O-negative and Type O-positive individuals who donate through Oct. 22 at any mobile blood drive or donation center.

Blood donors are urged to visit bloodassurance.org/schedule to view a list of all upcoming blood drives and to schedule an appointment. Donors can also call 800-962-0628 or text BAGIVE to 999777.

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. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron before donating.

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