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Local Blood Center Gives Community New Way to Save Lives

Local Blood Center Gives Community New Way to Save Lives

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Blood Connection (TBC), a Greenville, S.C. based community blood center, will officially open its donation center in North Charleston on February 27, 2020. Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 4:00 p.m. 

The newly renovated, multi-purpose 15,000 square foot donation center will include a spacious waiting area, screening rooms, 10-bed donor room and refreshment area, all equipped with brand new equipment and furniture. It will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on the weekends. Donors can walk in or make an appointment online or by phone any day of the week. In addition to a donation center, the building will also serve as a blood distribution hub and reference lab, which will help TBC distribute blood donations more efficiently to its hospital partners in the Charleston area. Blood mobiles will be housed and prepared for community blood drives at the center as well. 

Because of specialized equipment not available on a blood mobile, the donation center will give donors a unique opportunity to take their blood donation to the next level by donating platelets, plasma, and red cells. These direct donations, called “apheresis,” help local hospital patients in specific ways. For example, platelets are commonly used to treat cancer patients. Donors can learn which donation is best for them based on their blood type. Before the Charleston center, donating whole blood on a mobile was the only option for donors. TBC’s ability to offer all donation options at the center will ultimately provide hospital partners with essential blood products for certain treatments and transfusions.

TBC’s presence in the Lowcountry has spread rapidly within the last year, after TBC became the exclusive blood provider for Roper St. Francis Healthcare in January 2019. TBC has doubled its mobile units since then and has increased donor collection opportunities to serve the Lowcountry. TBC now spans 12 coastal counties, providing blood products to 11 local hospitals in the area.

“The Lowcountry community has embraced us and we are so thankful to the donors who have joined us on our blood mobiles,” said TBC President and CEO, Delisa K. English. “Now donors have a beautiful, spacious blood center to enjoy while they help save the lives of their neighbors. We’re proud to be local and to serve this community through our hospital partners. This center opening is just the beginning of making Charleston our home.”

TBC has been a non-profit 501(c)(3) community blood center since 1962 and is the exclusive provider for the entire Upstate of South Carolina and a large portion of North Carolina. While blood collections are a big part of what TBC does, it is also a full-service blood center, which includes testing, manufacturing, distribution and reference lab services. As a single-focused operation, the community blood center is able to commit all of its resources to collecting and testing blood products in order to transport them to local hospitals quickly. TBC’s priority is to keep donated blood products in the communities it serves.

 

The Blood Connection Offers Free Therapeutic Phlebotomy

The Blood Connection Offers Free Therapeutic Phlebotomy

Patients can visit the Charleston Donation Center any day of week

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Blood Connection (TBC), your community blood center, is proud to serve the Charleston community through free therapeutic phlebotomy. This service is free for patients diagnosed with hemochromatosis or iron dysfunction including those taking testosterone supplements. TBC is the only organization to provide this service at no cost to patients in the Lowcountry.

On average, a therapeutic phlebotomy treatment costs around $80 per visit. In some instances, a treatment can cost more than $100 if done at a hospital. When a patient is referred to TBC and meets the requirements, there is no cost whatsoever to the patient, while other blood centers in the area charge a fee. Because patients typically need multiple treatments, this is a costly burden that TBC is offering to cover.

TBC’s mission is to provide a safe and uninterrupted blood supply through volunteer blood donations. Within that service to the community is treatment for those with certain blood disorders. Therapeutic patients in need of treatment can visit the recently opened TBC Charleston Donation Center in North Charleston at 5870 Core Road any day of the week. The center is open 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. on weekdays and 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. on weekends.

Patients must make an appointment and have a physician’s order before coming in for treatment. The physicians order form can be found online at thebloodconnection.org/therapeutic-phlebotomy. TBC is asking the community to help make patients aware of this free service and to also send this information to hematologists in the area.

For more information about therapeutic phlebotomy, please visit thebloodconnection.org/therapeutic-services.

The Blood Connection Opens North Carolina Operations Center

The Blood Connection Opens North Carolina Operations Center

MORRISVILLE, N.C. —The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Blood Connection’s new North Carolina Operations Center. The ceremony will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 30 at 101 Kitty Hawk Drive in Morrisville, N.C.  

The Blood Connection (TBC) operations center will serve three main functions to provide local hospitals in Eastern North Carolina with life-saving products more efficiently. The first function, a reference lab, allows TBC to ensure quicker turnaround times on hospital orders requiring blood products for high risk patients. The second, hospital services, helps TBC deliver better service to hospital partners by making quick modifications and processing orders faster. Lastly, the mobile staging and warehouse supports TBC’s efforts to maintain a steady blood supply.

Mobile units and other equipment used for blood drives are also housed at the N.C. Operations Center. Currently, TBC relies solely on its processing lab in Piedmont, S.C. The implementation of the laboratory in Morrisville will ultimately allow local patients to get the products they need even faster, which in life-threatening instances can make a big difference. 

“We are excited to be expanding our reach yet again in the Triangle,” said Delisa K. English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection. “Having a full operations center local to the area will allow us to process blood products and get them to patients even faster, transferring to more lives saved.”

TBC is a non-profit community blood center that opened its first permanent location in Raleigh in 2018. The organization is the exclusive provider of blood products for nearly 30 hospitals and healthcare systems in the Triangle and Eastern N.C. – including UNC REX Healthcare and WakeMed. In the past year alone, donations have been used to help more than 13,000 patients in need of blood products during their hospital stays in Wake County.

“We couldn’t be happier to have The Blood Connection as a member of the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce,” 2020 Chamber Chair Rod Frankel, of Frankel Staffing Partners. “We welcome them to the business community here in Morrisville and look forward to their continued success.”

The processing center will not be open to the public, however, tours can be arranged for community members who are interested in learning more. In addition to mobile drives in the area, TBC also has a donation center located off of Glenwood Avenue. Donors can visit 7 days a week at 5925 Glenwood Avenue. To learn more about TBC or to schedule a donation, please visit: www.thebloodconnection.org.

The Blood Connection Reopens Hendersonville Donation Center

The Blood Connection Reopens Hendersonville Donation Center

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — After many requests from local residents, The Blood Connection (TBC) will reopen its blood donation center at 825 Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville on Monday, February 3. The center will open with limited days and hours in order to best support local blood donors and community hospitals. At a later date, the center will be open regular business hours. 

The non-profit community blood center is the exclusive blood provider for almost every Western North Carolina hospital – including Mission Health and Advent Health. The Hendersonville center is now one of 10 permanent TBC donation centers in the Carolinas, three of which have opened in 2020. In January 2019, the Hendersonville Center closed after the TBC Arden Donation Center opened fifteen miles away. The Hendersonville location was then used as a staging and warehouse area to support mobile collections efforts. After an overwhelming response to the closure from donors, who stressed the importance of having a donation center close by, TBC redirected resources to reopen the center this year. In addition, TBC’s rapid growth last year and success in serving more hospitals makes the Hendersonville center a vital resource to ensure hospitals’ needs. Surgery patients, accident victims, patients with cancer and newborn babies are all examples of people who count on the local blood supply.

“Donors will now be able to give more frequently because of this location and they’ll find the center a warm and welcoming space to donate,” says TBC President and CEO Delisa K. English. “For the past year, many from this area have had to donate on our blood mobiles, or perhaps drive to our Arden Donation Center.”

TBC first began supplying blood products to North Carolina in 2011 and has been growing ever since. While continuing to serve communities in Western NC, TBC expanded services in 2017 to include Wake, Durham and Orange Counties, and last month, opened a Raleigh donation center. TBC’s newest donation center in Hendersonville will expand its ability to collect and distribute lifesaving blood products in Western NC, giving some Asheville residents another option closer to home.

Donating blood is a simple way to help someone in need, says English. “Blood is a lifeline during an emergency and so important for patients who need long-term treatments, and many of us know someone who will need it during our lifetime. When a Mission Health patient receives a blood transfusion, this blood comes from The Blood Connection. Therefore, local blood donations truly make a difference to our friends and neighbors in the local community. This is why it’s wonderful that there’s another center where locals can donate.”

 

Temporary Hours:

Sunday and Wednesday: 7:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.

Thursday – Saturday: CLOSED

Donors can find more information at thebloodconnection.org/hendersonville.

Eastern NC Town Resolves to Save More Lives in 2020

Eastern NC Town Resolves to Save More Lives in 2020

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – Onslow County Emergency Medical Services (OCEMS) is now partnering with the community non-profit blood center, The Blood Connection (TBC), to treat patients by introducing type O positive whole blood units into life-saving medical responses. OCEMS will be one of the first EMS units in the nation to utilize whole blood to treat major blood loss on the way to the hospital.

This program will ensure that lifesaving blood transfusions can begin before a patient arrives to their designated hospital – which can be the difference between life or death in a trauma response. Every year, over 60,000 people in the U.S. die due to the aftermath of hemorrhagic trauma. Research has shown that incorporating whole blood units into a first response before a patient’s arrival to the hospital can increase their chances of survival by about 70%.

“Having a dedicated EMS unit, like OCEMS, willing to incorporate our whole blood products into their day to day response is not only a huge step for TBC, but the communities in which we serve and live,” said Delisa K. English, President and CEO of TBC. “We are very excited to be a part of OCEMS’ program and are looking forward to meeting our first patients impacted by this program in Jacksonville.

The idea of using whole blood on the scene of a trauma dates back to World War I and II during combat. Since 1970, the standard practice has shifted to dividing and storing whole blood into plasma, platelets and red blood cells – known as component therapy – in order to conserve blood donations. Fast forward to today and evidence-based research is now showing that whole blood transfusions are effective and do improve mortality rates in on the scene trauma response.

OCEMS was motivated to start this initiative based on a similar program out of San Antonio, which was the first major city in the nation to start utilizing whole blood units on EMS vehicles. 

The program, which will start mid-December, will be supported by blood donations from TBC donors. TBC is a local, non-profit community blood center dedicated to supplying area hospitals in the Carolinas and parts of Georgia with a variety of blood products. Currently, blood products collected from TBC community donors help supply 28 hospitals across the Triangle and Eastern NC.

A press conference will be held on December 16 at the Onslow County Public Safety Memorial in Jacksonville, NC at 10 a.m. OCEMS and TBC members will speak on behalf of the partnership and answer questions. 

Local Blood Provider Now Serving Florence-Based Hospital System

Local Blood Provider Now Serving Florence-Based Hospital System

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Blood Connection (TBC), a Greenville, SC based community blood center, became the exclusive blood provider for another hospital system on October 1, 2019. McLeod Health will be joining other healthcare systems like Vidant Health, WakeMed, UNC REX Healthcare, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Mission Health, and Prisma Health, who have chosen TBC as their local blood supplier. McLeod, a not-for-profit hospital system based in Florence, SC, has signed on to multiple years with TBC and consists of eight medical facilities that serve 18 counties in the Carolinas. This new relationship will impact thousands of residents by providing live-saving blood products to the PeeDee region through the support of those communities.

TBC has been a non-profit 501(c)(3) community blood center for almost 60 years and is the exclusive provider for the entire Upstate of South Carolina and a large portion of North Carolina. With its expansion into Florence, SC, the blood center will be bridging the gap in the northeastern part of the state between its two other service areas, Greenville and Charleston. 

“This Florence hospital system invited us to the region to be their local blood provider. We are committed to keeping this community supplied with life-saving blood products. To put it into perspective, an unexpected trauma can require 20 pints of blood or more. If there happens to be multiple traumas that require blood, the community supply could be suddenly reduced,” said Delisa K. English, TBC President and CEO. “We have to be ready. When you donate blood with The Blood Connection, you are ensuring your community will have the blood products needed to save lives every day.”

While blood collections is a big part of what TBC does, it is also a full-service blood center, which includes testing, manufacturing, distribution and reference lab services. TBC has begun hiring for blood mobiles already deployed to the region with plans to open a donation center in Florence in 2020. As a single-focused operation, the community blood center is able to commit all of its resources to collecting and testing blood products in order to transport them to local hospitals quickly.

In the last year, TBC has become the blood center of choice for 20 additional counties, providing more than 220,000 blood products to hospital partners in the Carolinas. That translates to hundreds of thousands of local people impacted by the single act of a neighbor donating blood. TBC has also doubled its mobile units to 42 and will be using them to increase its donor collection opportunities to include the southeastern part of North Carolina, more areas along the Outer Banks, and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Because TBC’s mission is to keep blood donations local, more communities will now have the opportunity to support its neighbors in a unique way by sharing life.