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Friday, Nov 4, 2022

Marsh Regional Blood Center has critical need for O-negative blood; donors encouraged to give

Marsh Regional Blood Center is in critical need of type O-negative blood.

The blood center, like many across the nation, has been struggling with low supplies since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, due to local hospitals treating several different trauma cases over the last two weeks, the supply has been severely depleted, and the center has an urgent need for donors.

O-negative blood is extremely important because it can be transfused to anyone, regardless of their blood type,” said Evan Kulbacki, MD, medical director for Marsh Regional. “Because it is universal, it’s what hospitals use in trauma cases, and it is carried on rescue aircraft for in-flight transfusion, if necessary.

“Keeping a good supply of O-negative blood on hand is crucial, so we desperately need help from donors throughout the community. Having the appropriate blood types on hand in emergency situations can mean the difference between life and death.”

Marsh Regional is asking for donations at any of their three centers or through any of their upcoming mobile blood drives. Additionally, all O-negative donors through Sunday, Nov. 20, will receive a long-sleeve holiday T-shirt, plus a $10 Food City gift card.

Donation center locations include:

  • Bristol, 1996 W. State St. – (423) 652-0014
  • Johnson City, 2428 Knob Creek Road – (423) 282-7090
  • Kingsport, 111 W. Stone Drive – (423) 408-7500

Appointments are preferred for in-center donations and can be made by calling the respective donors centers, but walk-ins are welcome.

Additionally, a schedule of upcoming mobile drives taking place across the Appalachian Highlands is available at

Marsh Regional also welcomes donations from people who don’t know their blood types. Then, once their blood type has been tested and established, if it is O-negative, Marsh Regional will mail a gift card to the address the donor provided during registration.

As many as three lives can be saved with one blood donation – and blood donations received through Marsh Regional stay in the Appalachian Highlands to help local patients. Marsh Regional supplies blood to 21 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

Blood supplies are used in emergency and life-threatening situations, but a steady supply of blood and blood products is also needed to treat patients with cancer and other health conditions.

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 those who are taking antibiotics are not eligible to donate. Donors should eat a well-balanced meal before giving blood.

Donors must wear a mask at all times while donating blood. Masks will be provided to anyone who doesn’t have one.

Those who have recently received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate the same day if they are feeling healthy. People recovering from COVID-19 should wait at least two weeks after COVID-19 symptoms subside before donating.

Marsh Regional accepts appointments at any of its three locations in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. Appointments can be made by calling (423) 408-7500 or by visiting Walk-ins are welcome.