31st annual Red Cross Carolina-Clemson Blood Battle kicks off - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

31st annual Red Cross Carolina-Clemson Blood Battle kicks off

 MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The 31st annual Carolina-Clemson Blood Battle put on by the American Red Cross has kicked off. It’s is a great way to get people pumped about college football while giving back.

The American Red Cross puts on this annual event to get people excited about the big Clemson-South Carolina rivalry game as well as to get them to donate blood. Donors get to choose whether they bleed orange or garnet when they vote for their team. This blood drive falls at a really good time of year because the holiday season is just about here. this event will give the Red Cross a little boost as we head into the holidays with a good blood supply. The Red Cross said during the holidays its blood collections tend to decrease, and this event brings in a lot of blood. The Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so that hospital patients have the blood and platelets they need to make a full recovery. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must be replenished constantly – there is no substitute.

“Blood product and platelets are needed every single day for our hospitals, for emergencies, surgeries, diseases, cancer patients,” said Frecia Ammons Recruitment Representative for the American Red Cross. “Multiple reasons the products are needed every day, so we are every day collecting.”

Blood platelets are a component of blood that stops bleeding by clumping and clotting blood vessel injuries.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

“If you’ve done any extensive traveling or if you’ve been sick, not well,” said Ammons. “Call that number before you make that appointment. But be prepared and have some courage; you’re doing a really good thing.”

The Carolina-Clemson blood drive startled as a battle between the two campuses. Over the years it has extended participation to donation centers across the state as well.  Officially, this is the 31st annual blood battle between the two colleges. Since the blood battle began, the competition has generated about 100,000 total pints. Considering one pint of blood can help save up to three lives, the impact of the blood battle is much greater.

USC currently leads the overall blood battle competition 16-14. And according to the American Red Cross, in recent years, the winner of the blood drive usually goes on to win the football game. USC has won the football game 5 out of the last 6 years; USC has won the blood battle for the past 6 years.

Community members are invited to give blood through November 28 at blood donation centers in Florence and Myrtle Beach:

Florence Blood Donation Center, 1555-B West Palmetto St.

Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 2 to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; closed Sunday, Monday and Thursday

Myrtle Beach Blood Donation Center, The Plaza at Carolina Forest, 3681 Renee Drive, Unit 4

Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 6:30 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; closed Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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