UNION — The Union County stop on this year’s Memorial Week Blood Drive by The Blood Connection resulted in the collection of enough blood to save as many as 168 lives.
The blood drive, which runs through Friday and will be conducted throughout The Blood Connection’s service area, is designed to collect blood for the 22 hospitals supplied by the organization. The hospitals are located in northeastern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina and include Wallace Thomson Hospital which, in 2012, received 1,346 units of packed red blood cells from The Blood Connection.
Union was one of the blood drive’s first stops with the organization’s bloodmobile spending much of the day in the Walmart parking lot collecting donations from local residents. August Garrett, accounts coordinator for The Blood Connection, said the stop in Union was successful one with blood collected from most of those who offered to donate.
“We did really good, we ended up seeing 69 people and ended up with 56 completed units of blood,” Garrett said Tuesday. “We have to have a full pint of blood in the bag when you are in the chair. If the person either clots up or gets sick it prevents the bag from being filled. When that happens we have to discard the blood.”
Garrett pointed out that each pint of donated blood can save up to three lives and that the hospitals like Wallace Thomson served by The Blood Connection have different options on how to use it.
“One bag can either be taken and split into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells or you can take it as whole blood,” Garrett said. “The way the blood is preserved depends on the need of the hospital.”
Garrett said that while donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days, none of the blood collected by The Blood Connection ever remains in storage for so long that it has be discarded. She said there is a constant need for blood at the hospitals served by the organization which is why the blood collected is soon put to use.
For more information about The Blood Connection go to thebloodconnection.org.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.