Knoxville blood center faces critical blood shortage

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With summer approaching, MEDIC Regional Blood Center is urging people to give blood to avoid expected nationwide blood shortages.

On Thursday, the blood center kicked off their annual blood drive at their donor center.

As a thank you for their lifesaving gift, all donors received a limited edition Parrot Head t-shirt, a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A Sandwich, a coupon for a free Texas Roadhouse appetizer, and a coupon for free Rita’s Italian Ice. In addition, all donors will also be entered to win gift certificates from Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, tickets to see the Tennessee Smokies, and a gift from Smoky Mountain Knife Works.

“Although we usually see fewer donations, the demand from our local hospitals remains unchanged, and this year, many blood centers across the country are expecting to fall short,” said MEDIC spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel. “Our Parrot Head Party is such an important event because it helps ensure we’ll be able to meet the needs of patients at our local hospitals.”

MEDIC Regional Blood Center serves 28 hospitals in East Tennessee. They have locations in Knoxville, Farragut and Crossville.

More: Blood donation drive hours and locations

A typical blood donation takes about 45 minutes. All donors are encouraged to visit MEDIC’s website to determine if they can donate.

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