As the state and nation continue to feel the impact of widespread blood shortages, DCH Health System is encouraging the community to donate if they are able.

According to a release from a DCH spokesperson, the severe storms and tornadoes that impacted parts of the state last week have only escalated the need for more blood donors.

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DCH Health System said they have reached a critical level for type O blood and its hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette are approaching critical levels for other types as usage for patient care only increases.

The health system is encouraging people to donate blood to LIfeSouth, the sole blood provider for the DCH Health System.

Blood donors will receive a thank you gift, refreshments and a mini-physical, where they will have their cholesterol, iron level, temperature and blood pressure checked.

In order to donate, participants must have a photo identification card, be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental consent, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors can visit to find a nearby location to donate.

Author's Note: The photo used in this publication is a stock photo and was not submitted by the DCH Health System.

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