Red Cross blood drive at Ripley’s Aquarium addresses critical blood shortage

Third annual Red Cross blood drive at Ripley’s Aquarium addresses critical blood shortage

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The season of giving doesn’t have to be over just because Christmas is.

The Red Cross hosted a blood drive Thursday at Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach, where anyone who donated blood received discounted admission to the aquarium.

Red Cross officials said during the holiday season, the blood supply can get to critical levels as many people are busy traveling and not thinking about donating.

Meg Heath, with the Red Cross, said blood drives during the school year at high schools and colleges keeps the supply steady.

“All of our blood comes from high schools or colleges, or a good majority of it. So they’re out for these two weeks. People are traveling, people just don’t stop and think that the need for blood always is there,” Heath says.

According to the Red Cross, a single car wreck victim can need up to 100 liters of blood. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, from burn victims to cancer patients.

"Well of course we don’t have any elves in the back that can make blood, so there’s really no substitute for people coming out to donate. That’s the only way that we get the blood, that’s the only way we can provide for our hospitals in the state,” Heath said.

Maria Stroup, of Myrtle Beach, considers herself a regular blood donor.

"I hope that it'll be there if and when we do need it,” Stroup says.

Those who missed Thursday’s event can find out how to donate blood on the Red Cross’ website.

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