Red Cross issues urgent need for blood donors

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region issued an urgent call for blood donors on Monday.

Officials said the American Red Cross is seeing a shortage of blood donations due to high temperatures, the lack of school-sponsored blood drives and broken blood donation appointments.

"There is a critical need for blood donors now," Delisa English, chief executive officer for the South Carolina Blood Services Region, said. "This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community's hospitals and the patients they serve."

The following are upcoming blood drives across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee:

CHESTERFIELD
  • Aug. 24 - Hopewell Baptist Church from 12:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
LAKE CITY
  • Aug. 25 - Lake City Community Hospital from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
FLORENCE
  • Aug. 27 - Laurel Gardens Senior Living Community from noon to 5 p.m.
SUMTER
  • Aug. 28 - Sumter Mall from noon to 5 p.m.
HARTSVILLE
  • Aug. 31 - Heritage Community Bank from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alternately, there are blood donation centers located in Florence and Sumter open each week.

Red Cross officials said while all blood types are needed, those with type O negative blood are the most crucial. English said O-negative donors can make a difference in blood supply and during a shortage.

Type O negative blood, according to the Red Cross, can be transfused to patients with any blood type. It is readily given to patients in emergency and trauma situations.

"We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now," English said. "Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life."

Every day, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the U.S. and each whole blood donation can save up to three lives.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, donors are asked to call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

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