PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Someone needs blood about every 3 seconds, but unfortunately The Blood Center says their supply right now is critically low.
"We are having about a less than one day supply, or about a one day supply on our shelves. And really going into hurricane season, we really need a three-day supply," said Gina Necaise, the coastal region supervisor of The Blood Center.
The center has teamed up with Singing River Health System to host emergency blood drives throughout the week, and say they need help from area residents.
"Blood can't be manufactured. It has to come from community blood donors," Necaise said.
The first drive was Tuesday at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. People climbed on to the Bloodmobile, then opened their hearts and unfolded their arms to donate.
"It's something that I may not have anybody in the hospital today that needs it, but when it hits close to home then that's when people start scrambling and by then it could be too late," said donor Lindsey Moody.
There was a decent turn out in Pascagoula, but Necaise says it's not enough to meet the need. The Blood Center says they need to collect 300 - 350 pints per day to be at 100 percent.
"If we don't have the donors coming into donate blood, we might not be able to give people what they need, when they need it," Necaise said.
To put it into perspective - when you donate, they take one pint, and that one pint of blood can save up to three lives.
"It's really a desperate need right now. We need people to come in and fill those orders and to save peoples lives," said Necaise.
Donors must be at least 17 years old, and more than 110 pounds. After a short screening process and a mini-physical to determine eligibility, the blood drawing process takes about 10 minutes.
There will be a blood drive Wednesday, June 8 at the Gautier Blood center and the Picayune donor center from 12 to 7 p.m. Another drive takes place Thursday, June 9 at Ocean Springs Hospital, also from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, click here.