Blood supplies have been running historically-low for historically-high periods of time in the Upstate, putting a strain on local hospitals’ ability to meet patient needs, Upstate health officials said on Thursday, July 8.
Collection data provided by The Blood Connection shows donations in the Upstate — particularly those collected at mobile blood centers — failed to meet demand the majority of the time in June.
The Blood Connection’s President and CEO, Delisa English, said no single factor is driving down donations but rather a mix of them, from summertime travel to post-COVID malaise.
“We’re in a critical position.”
She said, lately, they’ve been averaging about 400 pints in donations each day at a time when they need about 800 and that O-negative donations are particularly prized.
Walk-ins are welcome, she said, but appointments are appreciated as they allow staff to prepare. To make an appointment at the Greenville blood center, call 864-239-2937 or visit The Blood Connection online.
An upcoming blood drive at the Greenville Convention Center will feature $20 gift cards for all donors who also will be eligible to win free concert tickets and and a signed guitar, courtesy iHeart Radio. The drive is scheduled for July 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dr. C. Wendell James of Prisma Health said blood donations serve not only trauma patients but others with longer-term conditions. “The most righteous thing we can give another human being is life,” he said.
Marketing Manager Allie Van Dyke said they’ve been fielding calls about whether those who are or have been vaccinated from COVID-19 can donate. “Yes, whether you’re vaccinated or are being vaccinated — yes, you absolutely can donate.”