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      Concerns about the blood supply just before the Fourth of July

      {}As the summer heats up, LifeSouth is already seeing a drop in the number of blood donations and could face a serious shortage if additional donors don't come in.

      Here's a list of blood drives scheduled in the area:

      June 25:VA Hospital TuscaloosaShelby Baptist Hospital{}June 26:First United Security BankSumpter Health and Rehab{}June 27:CVS in TuscaloosaWalmart LeedsWalmart Calera{}June 28:Premier Cinemas BessemerWalmart Hwy 280 in HooverForester's Supermarket{}June 29:CVS Pell CityWalgreen's Jasper

      "Shortages are something we battle every summer, and we're already facing a shortage of O-negative blood that's so important for emergencies," said LifeSouth Vice President of Operations JB Bowles. "For those people who donate occasionally, now is the time we need you most. For those who have never donated, now is the time to try."

      Bowles also said part of the challenge is only nearly 5% of Americans donate on a regular basis. We always see an even steeper drop in donations around the Fourth because people are busy celebrating, but the accidents that come with the holiday travel can spike the demand for blood. The need climbs even higher when surgeries that were postponed during the holiday all quickly ramp up Monday," Bowles said.Donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is required. For more information, call Life South at 888-795-2707 or visit