The next blood drive is Friday, Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Tennessee Technology Center located at 910 Miller Ave. in Crossville. This drive is open to the public. For more information about blood donation, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

All presenting donors will be entered into a region-wide drawing for a $500 Shell gas card courtesy of Tri-Star Energy of Nashville.

In addition to whole blood, donors will have the opportunity to give double red cells. Unlike traditional whole blood donations, which are sent to the laboratory for separation into components, this process separates your blood into its components as it is being drawn. The donor's plasma, which contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients in blood, is returned to the donor during the donation process, along with a small amount of saline solution. Because red cells are the component most needed for blood types O+, O-, A- and B-, double red cell donation allows you to give just what patients need.

The Tennessee Valley Region currently has less than a 36-hour supply of blood with even lower levels of types O+, O- and B-. Each blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. One donation can be separated into components to treat patients with different needs. Red blood cells can treat accident victims, platelets treat cancer patients and plasma is used to treat burn victims.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. If you are at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. All donors need to present positive identification. For more information or to schedule your blood donation appointment, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

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