Donor Linda Holloway talks with Susie Kerney at Marsh Regional Blood Bank’s newly opened Stone Drive facility Tuesday. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — Wellmont Health System celebrated its new blood collection facility and appealed to the public for more blood and platelet donors on Tuesday.
The Marsh Regional Blood Center has relocated to Wellmont’s Urgent Care building on West Stone Drive.
The new facility has four screening rooms — double what had been available at its former Ravine Road location — to offer more convenience to donors. The facility also has five whole blood donor beds and four platelet donor beds, with room to expand. Each donor can watch television during the process.
Another amenity is a new X-ray irradiator to help physicians prevent transfusion-associated disease.
“We have heard many compliments from donors, but the facility has also been a big hit with staff members, who can interact with each other more effectively because all our functions are now on one floor,” Don Campbell, Marsh Regional’s director, said in a prepared release.
Wellmont Chief Operating Officer Tracey Moffatt said the need for whole blood and platelet donations does not take a break during the holidays.
“In fact, this is the season when many people have a need for blood because weather conditions and people’s activities can result in more trauma cases,” said Moffatt, who was the facility’s first whole blood donor. “The residents of our region have strongly supported the blood and platelet needs of their friends and neighbors, and we just want to remind donors that we can particularly use their help at this time of year. It will save many people’s lives”
All donations to Marsh Regional stay local to help people in the region, according to Wellmont. The organization has four mobile blood collection units.
Donors with an O-negative blood type are particularly welcome, as their blood can be used for any patient.
For more, call (423) 408-7500 or visit www.marshblood.com.