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With blood supplies ‘dangerously low,’ donors are offered H-E-B gift cards, pizza

January 4, 2019

Facing a “dangerously low” supply of blood to start the year, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is urging the public to donate blood — and is promoting offers with H-E-B and others to help sweeten the deal.

The nonprofit organization attributed the low blood levels to declining donations over the holidays, coupled with several canceled blood drives that typically replenish supplies during the first month of the year.

Demand for blood tends to be the highest in January because many surgeries and procedures are put on hold until after the start of the new year.

The biggest blood supplier in the South Texas region, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, provides blood, plasma, platelets and blood components to hospitals in 44 counties.

This week, the center is extending its hours to encourage more donations at the seven donor sites it operates throughout San Antonio, New Braunfels and Victoria. Its donor rooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the weekend.

Appointments can be made by calling (210) 731-5590 or visiting southtexasblood.org.

Several blood drives are still scheduled this month. People who donate blood with the center this month will receive $10 gift cards to H-E-B, while donors of platelets or Type O blood will be eligible for $20 gift cards.

Drives will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Friday in Westover Hills at 8514 Texas 151 and in San Antonio at 1911 North Loop 1604.

On Saturday, blood drives will be held at Top Golf’s parking lot, 5539 North Loop 1604 West from noon to 5 p.m. and at Mammen Family Public Library parking lot in Bulverde, 131 Bulverde Crossing, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, 5527 North Loop 1604 West, will host a drive in its parking lot from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Another drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 19 in the parking lot of Big Lou’s Pizza, 2048 South W.W. White Road, in honor of Lane Hardin, a 9-year-old San Antonio boy with aplastic anemia. There the public will also have an opportunity to learn about joining the bone marrow donor registry, Be the Match.

Donors at the Big Lou’s drive will take home a free 20-inch pizza, a T-shirt and tickets to City Base Cinema.

Lauren Caruba covers health care and medicine in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | lcaruba@express-news.net | Twitter: @LaurenCaruba

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