URGENT NEED FOR BLOOD DONATIONS!
Help TBC provide enough blood for local hospitals through the summer season.
We need your help now to avoid a blood shortage!
THE CAROLINAS & GEORGIA – If this announcement came from a large milk producer and the headline read ‘milk shortage leads to 2-day supply in local grocery stores,’ people would most likely rush to the nearest store to buy milk, creating long lines and a sense of panic. After all, milk is a staple item in most everyone’s fridge – but if push came to shove – there are substitutes like almond, oat, and soy milk. A different, yet similar, urgent supply issue is happening right now: The Blood Connection (TBC) fears it could be running on a 2-3-day supply of blood very soon. To make matters worse, there is no substitute for blood. And just like milk, blood has a shelf life. That’s why blood must be continuously donated for real patients in local hospitals, who desperately need blood transfusions every day. Without a stable blood supply, patients like 12-year-old Rhys Shaw, who battled acute T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma wouldn’t have a fighting chance at survival. Cancer patients use 25% of donated blood for their treatments.
Blood donors of all types are urgently needed through the summer. Community members are urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. One donation can help up to three people. ‘Freedom Week’ at TBC was formed many years ago to anticipate and prepare for the decrease of blood donors in the summer months. This year, Freedom Week is June 26 through July 10. TBC will be thanking blood donors who give from June 26th – July 10th with a commemorative t-shirt and an eGift card valued at $20. The blood donation is priceless.
“While you’re enjoying the holiday, please remember to make a blood donation for your fellow Americans who are depending on blood for surgeries and cancer treatments. Although you may never meet the person who receives your donation, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve done something miraculous; saving a neighbor’s life,” says Delisa English, TBC President and CEO.
The sad reality is only three percent of the population donates blood, but one in seven people who enter a hospital will need a blood transfusion. The supply simply doesn’t keep up with the demand. Historically, there is a higher demand for blood products in July. Go to thebloodconnection.org/donate or call (864) 255-5000 to make an appointment. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID.
CAROLINAS & GEORGIA – Today, the national Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), of which The Blood Connection (TBC) is a member, was activated to send much needed blood to the hospitals in and around Uvalde, Texas, the scene of Tuesday’s tragic elementary school shooting that claimed at least 21 lives and left several more injured. TBC has sent units of blood to South Texas and could be asked to send more if needed. Video of these units being sent to Texas can be found here.
“Our BERC Network was activated to help our partner blood center, South Texas Blood and Tissue meet the need of trauma patients at local hospitals in Uvalde, Texas,” said Nelson Hellwig, CEO of The Alliance for Community Transfusion Services and Administrator of the BERC program.
As part of their on-call week, the following community-based blood centers have rushed blood to the region: The Blood Connection; SunCoast Blood Centers; Carter Blood Care, Community Blood Center (Appleton, WI), The Blood Center (New Orleans, LA); Vitalant; Rock River Valley Blood Center; Community Blood Center of the Ozarks; Miller-Keystone Blood Center (Bethlethem, PA); and LifeServe Blood Center. Blood centers are on-call every few weeks.
Today’s activation marks the fourth time since its inception in September 2021 that the BERC Network has been called upon to provide blood during a national emergency. TBC has sent blood in response to two other emergency events so far.
“There are no words to express how deeply saddened we are about the loss of so many innocent lives,” said The Blood Connection President & CEO, Delisa English. “Because of BERC, we are at least able to help the people of South Texas and their local blood center. Times like these remind us of why we continuously urge our community to donate blood.”
The blood from BERC Network blood banks is being sent to South Texas Blood and Tissue, the steward of the local blood supply in that part of Texas. TBC has more blood in reserve to send if called upon again. In order to help other communities, the local blood supply must be stable. It’s important to have an available day-to-day blood supply on the shelves in the event of any emergencies – locally or BERC-assisted – when blood and time are critical. The community is urged to donate blood now at any TBC center or bloodmobile. To find a location, go to thebloodconnection.org/donate.
About the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), a collaborative effort of 30 community blood centers, was founded in 2021 to meet immediate transfusion needs when faced with large scale emergency situations that require blood transfusions. These blood centers commit to collecting extra units on a rotating “on call” schedule to create an available supply of blood for emergency needs.
The Blood Connection, a non-profit blood center is now a blood provider for Prisma Health hospitals in the Midlands.
The Blood Connection will donate five dollars for every person who gives blood Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16, to United Help Ukraine, which is an organization that gives medical supplies and survival equipment to Ukrainian citizens in need.
This shortage could make it hard to help, but a new national initiative involving the Blood Connection is doing something about it.
Tidelands Health has added an extra resource to help increase its access to blood donations as the nation experiences an unprecedented shortage. The health system has partnered with an additional supplier, The Blood Connection, to help keep blood supply coming to its facilities to help the treatment of patients.