UNION — The lives of as many as 75 people in Union County could be saved by the blood collected Wednesday during a blood drive at USC Union.
The Blood Connection supplies blood to a total of 22 hospitals in northeastern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina, including Wallace Thomson Hospital. In order to do this, The Blood Connection conducts an ongoing series of blood drives in its service area. The most recent of these took place Wednesday in the student lounge in the Main Building of the USC Union campus.
Shannez Herazo, Donor Resources Coordinator for The Blood Connection, said that the blood drive, which was held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., drew a total of 31 people. Of those, Herazo said 25 were able to donate blood, allowing The Blood Connection to collect 25 units or pints of blood.
“We had a great turnout,” Herazo said, adding that the blood collected Wednesday will be given to Wallace Thomson Hospital.
Each pint of blood donated can save up to three lives and each hospital that receives a pint of blood from The Blood Connection has the option of splitting it into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells or using it as whole blood as need dictates.
According to The Blood Connection website (thebloodconnection.org) a blood transfusion is required for a wide range of medical situations including accident victims, chemotherapy patients, and persons undergoing organ transplants. It further states that the American Association of Blood Banks estimates an average of 23 million units of blood are transfused into patients each year in the United States.
The website further states that “someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.”
Even though donated blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, none of the blood collected by The Blood Connection is ever discarded as there is a constant need by the hospitals in the organization’s service area for blood.
The website also lists the amount of blood and blood products needed to save the lives of persons facing the following medical conditions:
• Automobile Accident: 50 units of blood
• Heart Surgery: 6 units of blood, 6 units of platelets
• Organ Transplant: 40 units of blood, 30 units of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate, 25 units of fresh frozen plasma
• Bone Marrow Transplant: 120 units of platelets, 20 units of blood
• Burn: 20 units of platelets
Wednesday’s blood drive was promoted by USC Union and Tara Fatemi, Senior Instructor in Biology, thanked those who donated.
“I appreciate greatly whoever participated,” Fatemi said. “Every unit counts.
For more information about The Blood Connection go to thebloodconnection.org.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.