The Blood Connection Sends Blood in Response to Texas Elementary School Shooting
Blood Emergency Readiness Corps Activated
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.