The Flu And Blood
FLU IMPACT: Donors Are Urged to Donate As Flu Season Impacts Blood Donations
Greenville – Due to widespread flu and illness, The Blood Connection is experiencing low donor turnout and this is affecting blood inventory and the ability to provide blood products to hospitals.
TBC is urging healthy donors -- first time donors and regular donors -- to help fill in during this time of shortages. All blood types are needed, especially O negative because it can be transfused to almost any patient in need. O negative is recognized as the universal type; although only 7% of the population has it.
Medical Director Dr. Robert Rainer describes the need as a matter of math.
“When donors are unable to keep their scheduled appointments because of the flu, the community blood supply drops,” said Rainer, who oversees medical and technical processes and procedures, that ensure the care and safety of donors and transfusion recipients.
“There are patients undergoing surgery, receiving cancer treatment and organ transplants, who are depending on donated blood, in addition to the unexpected traumas seen at hospitals on a daily basis. When demand outweighs supply, the lives of these patients are at risk.”
The Blood Connection is currently extending center hours and adding new blood drives to make donation easier. TBC also welcomes businesses and organizations that may be able to host a blood drive. To sponsor a blood drive, call 864-751-1154.
Donors can donate blood at any one of TBC’s donation centers at 435 Woodruff Road, Greenville; 341 Old Abbeville Highway, Greenwood; 1954 East Main Street, Easley; 1308 Sandifer Boulevard, Seneca; 270 North Grove Medical Park Drive, Spartanburg; 825 Spartanburg Highway, Hendersonville; and 2709 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh.
Donors can also find a local blood drive by visiting TBC’s website here: donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/geo.
TBC’s mission is to ensure all hospital partners have the blood supplies needed for patients at any given time. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent.
About The Blood Connection: Founded as Greenville Blood Assurance in 1962, The Blood Connection (TBC) is the largest independently managed, non-profit community blood center in the region. Licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, TBC serves an 18,280-square-mile area of South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, holding 12-14 blood drives a day through bloodmobiles, portable field units and fixed donation sites. This equates to approximately 125,000 units a year, which are tested and processed at TBC’s state-of-the-art Biologics Processing Center in Piedmont. In South Carolina, TBC serves Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Pickens, Oconee, Greenwood, McCormick, Laurens, Newberry and Lexington counties. TBC also contracts with Med-Trans Air Medical Transport to serve Sumter, Marion, Dorchester, Colleton, Charleston and Berkeley counties. In Georgia, TBC serves Stephens, Hall, and Barrow counties. In 2011, TBC began serving Macon, Transylvania, Henderson, Polk, Buncombe, McDowell and Mitchell counties in Western North Carolina. In 2017, TBC expanded services to include Wake, Durham, Orange, Forsyth, Rowan and Pitt counties.
For more information, visit thebloodconnection.org.