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‘With each donation... we save three lives’: American Red Cross hosts blood drive in Myrtle Beach as nation faces shortage

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 5:35 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A critical blood shortage is hitting our community as demand from the pandemic continues.

Tidelands Health and the American Red Cross are long-time partners; however, to meet the increased demand, Tidelands is also partnering with The Blood Connection.

“Nobody wants us to cancel their surgery or cancel their procedure, we had a lot of that at the beginning of the pandemic where a lot of things were defered. We really don’t want people to defer their healthcare,” said Tidelands Health Chief Operating Officer Gayle Resetar.

Resetar said maintaining an adequate blood supply is crucial to the entire healthcare system, without blood, certain surgeries and procedures can’t happen.

Tidelands Health is doing what it can to make sure it has enough access to blood. Part of that lies with its existing partnership with the American Red Cross.

On Tuesday, the organization held a major blood donation event at the John T. Rhodes Myrtle Beach Sports Center to try and help with the critical shortage that is facing the nation.

“Especially now when there’s such a shortage and there are illnesses and people needing your blood for whatever transfusions or surgeries, it’s really important to be there for them,” said blood donor Anne Wheeler.

For some donors, the decision to give blood was about paying it forward.

“I’ve had several surgeries in my life, and everybody always takes it for granted that the blood will be there, but it’s not there if somebody doesn’t give it, so I’m giving back,” said blood donor Kelly Mezzapelle.

All of these donations help hospitals like Tidelands Health.

Sheila George, a supervisor with the American Red Cross, said donations for all blood types are needed to help accident victims, cancer patients, surgical needs, blood transfusions and more.

“With each donation, we’re told we save three lives, so to know that that’s what we’re doing here today, each person comes out and saves three lives, so imagine how many lives are being saved per day with just one donation,” said George.

There is still a critical need for donations within our own community. If you want to save a life and donate below are some resources on how to do that.

The Blood Connection is calling on community members to make an appointment.

Donors can find convenient blood drives near them by going to thebloodconnection.org/donate.

You can also visit the American Red Cross to find a drive to donate blood.

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