Thanks to The Blood Connection and the support of local donors, many South Carolina residents have grown up knowing that blood would be available to them in case of an emergency, but it hasn’t always been that way. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to derail much of the access TBC has creat ed since its founding more than 20 years ago.
With centers in Charleston and the Upstate, TBC is the primary blood provider for Lowcountry hospitals, including the Trident Health Systems, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and MUSC hospitals. Therefore, those who give blood with TBC can be confident that their donation remains locally accessible. One donation can be used to save a person’s life or may be split be tween two or more patients in need of blood products. COVID convalescent plasma for those battling the virus in intensive care is especially in demand.
Low donor turnout since the pandemic began has created a severe blood shortage across the country. With rising trauma cases, transplants and surgeries, hospitals have been forced to ask for more blood than expected, a request that cannot be met without a significant increase in donations. Blood donors allow TBC to keep its mission going and their routine donors, those who donate approximately every 56 days, give a glimmer of hope during these bleak times.
Those that are interested in donating are encouraged to learn more by contacting their nearest TBC center or bloodmobile, which can be found at thebloodconnection.org/donate. Those who cannot donate but want to help are asked to advocate for blood donations with TBC by hosting a blood drive in their neighborhood, workplace or place of worship. Because there is no replacement for blood, the blood shortage threatens every member of the community. Thankfully, by partnering with TBC, donors can play an integral role in the solution.
To learn more, visit thebloodconnection.org or call 800-392-6551.
By Isabel Alvarez Arata