American Red Cross ending blood drives in Northeast Tennessee

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The American Red Cross says it has closed a blood donation center and is ending blood drives in the Northeast Tennessee region.

In a statement to News Channel 11, the Red Cross says drives will no longer take place in Washington, Sullivan, Carter, Unicoi, Johnson, Hawkins, and Greene counties.

Additionally, the organization says the Johnson City blood donation center located at 818 Sunset Drive stopped accepting donations at the beginning of the month.

The Red Cross cites what it calls an industry-wide decline in demand for blood products.

News Channel 11 reached out to Marsh Regional Blood Center, which was selected last year to be Ballad Health’s exclusive blood supplier, to see if Red Cross’s decision will have a significant impact on the region.

“Really what we’re looking at is the need for blood in the community,” said Don Campbell, Director of Marsh Regional Blood Center. “So, our need has continued to rise. During the summer months, we have a decreased number of donations. Usage stays the same so we just continue to ask donors to come out and donate with marsh and keep the blood here locally.”

The Red Cross tells News Channel 11 the closure of the blood center and termination of blood drives will not affect the organization’s other services.

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