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.