KINGSPORT — Marsh Regional Blood Center is holding a blood drive at the Kingsport Farmers Market on Friday, April 2.
The blood drive, held in partnership with the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, will be from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and is open to all eligible blood donors. To help ensure physical distancing and infection prevention, prospective donors are encouraged to make an appointment by calling (423) 408-7536 or visiting www.marshblood.com. Walk-ins will be accommodated as available.
“We know how invaluable the gift of blood is, and we are honored by any chance we get to partner with Marsh Regional for the ultimate chance to give back to our community,” said Miles Burdine, president and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber. “Your Kingsport Chamber is grateful for the opportunity to host Marsh Regional and seek out the heroes of our communities.”
Donors will receive a snack and commemorative T-shirt after donating. Everyone who registers will also be entered to win a two-night stay at Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge.
While donors will only be able to donate whole blood at the Kingsport Farmers Market, they can also opt for additional testing that would allow them to donate other blood products, such as plasma and platelets, at a later date.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives, and blood donation centers always take steps to prevent team members and donors who are not feeling well or who have a fever from reaching the donor area.
Additionally, donors are required to wear a cloth face covering, such as a homemade mask, bandanna or buff, at all times in collection centers or on mobile units. If donors do not bring their own face covering, Marsh Regional will provide one.
As many as three lives can be saved each time someone donates blood — and donations to Marsh Regional stay local to help people in the Appalachian Highlands. Marsh Regional supplies blood to 28 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.
To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or people taking antibiotics are not eligible to donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood.
Those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should wait at least 48 hours before making a blood, platelet or plasma donation. Additionally, Marsh Regional has updated its donor eligibility guidelines to reflect new federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, and potential donors should call (423) 408-7500 to be pre-screened for eligibility.
In addition to the Kingsport Farmers Market blood drive and upcoming mobile blood drives, donors are welcome at Marsh Regional’s collection centers: 111 W. Stone Drive, Suite 300, Kingsport; 2428 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City; and 1996 W. State St., Bristol.
An appointment is required before giving blood at any blood center — donors should call (423) 408-7500, (423) 652-0014 or (423) 282-7090 or visit www.marshblood.com for more information about appointments or to schedule a blood drive at a local business, church, school or community organization. Same-day blood donation appointments are frequently available.