Your blood is needed.
Blood donations in the tri-county areas of Sumter, Lee and Clarendon are about 150 units less for the one-year period of July 2011 through June 2012 than they were at the same time last year, according to Nancy Cataldo, executive director for the Sandhills Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Nationwide, the Red Cross blood supply has reached low levels with 50,000 fewer donations for the month of June than was expected.
Every day the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 units of blood for more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.The South CarolinaBlood Services Region must collect 500 units per day, according to Julie Weilacher, interim CEO of the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region.
Although Clarendon Health System’s supply is in good shape, blood donations are still needed across the state. At Clarendon Memorial Hospital, using blood transfusions in the emergency department is common.
“We have people come in that are suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers or lower colon problems,”said Dennis Keown, emergency departmentnurse manager. “These patients may require two or three units of blood.”
Clarendon Memorial Hospital uses several hundred units of blood every year, according to Charles Baker, director of laboratory services. The hospital receives their supply from the Red Cross.
To give blood to the Red Cross, a blood donor card or driver’s license is required. Individuals must be at least 16 years of age (with parental consent).
Upcoming blood drives in Clarendon County include:
The Sandhills Chapter of the American Red Cross is hosting a Family and Friends Blood Drive 2012 from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., July 2 at the chapter’s office, 1155 North Guingard Drive in Sumter.
For more information on giving blood, contact the Sandhills chapter at (803) 775-2364 or (803) 775-2363.