SC blood donation centers looking to help other states hit by winter weather

Updated: Feb. 21, 2021 at 11:30 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Multiple blood donation organizations are calling on South Carolinians to not only help replenish the state’s supply, but also support other areas of the country crippled by winter weather this week.

Severe winter storms have closed dozens of American Red Cross blood drives across the country.

“More than 30 states have had to cancel blood drives because of lack of power, because of the issues with the roads and it not being safe to travel,” South Carolina Red Cross spokesperson Ben Williamson said. “That has equated to 21,000 units of blood that have gone uncollected.”

Williamson said South Carolina has frequently received help from other states over the past few years.

“We got help in the past,” Williamson said. “Look at the last four, five years from the hurricanes, flooding and tornadoes last year, other states are quick to come to help so this is a chance for us in South Carolina to reach across state lines.”

Allie Van Dyke with the Blood Connection says they have also received requests to help boost the blood supply across the Midwest.

“We have gotten calls from blood centers in Texas specifically saying we are going to run out tomorrow,” Van Dyke said.

She says the Blood Connection has seen a dip in donations this month and the organization should see 800 donations a day to keep the state’s supply consistent and to send some off to areas that need it.

“We want to be in the position to help them and we can’t do that if our blood supply isn’t stable enough to supply our local hospitals,” Van Dyke said. “We’ve had a dip in our donations and then we have this great need that other blood centers have and so you combine the two and that’s what made our urgent need situation and that’s why we need blood donors to come out.”

Both the American Red Cross and the Blood Connection have many blood drives planned in the Lowcountry over the next few weeks.

Organizers say walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.

People can find more information on upcoming blood drives and appointments below:

American Red Cross Blood Services

The Blood Connection

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