Lowcountry hospitals in ‘critical need’ of blood donations

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and The Blood Connection held an emergency press conference Thursday afternoon to address the critical need for blood donations here in the Lowcountry.

“This is the most serious blood supply situation I have seen in 30 years of blood banking,” Dr. Jerry Squires, medical director of transfusion services at MUSC, said.

Health experts are sounding the alarm as the blood supply in local hospitals approach record lows.

“For almost 10 months,” Terri Botti, divisional director at The Blood Connection, said. “The Blood Connection has been sharing the same message with the community: that the blood supply is critically low because of historically low donor turnout.”

Experts say recovering from COVID are one of the many reasons why people are not showing up to donate.

“They’re just under the weather,” Dr. James Benner, cardiac surgeon at Trident Medical Center, said.

They say donating one unit of blood is a simple procedure that can impact many lives.

“That unit of blood can serve two,” Squires said. “Three, sometimes even four patients.”

The Blood Connection is urging local institutions to step up during this time of need.

“Any business,” Botti said. “Church, gym, HOA, community center and school can host a blood drive. All we need is a space and donors. We’ll take care of the logistics.”

The organization says there’s a simple solution to this problem.

“Host a blood drive,” Botti said. “Donate blood; tell your family, your friends to do both, too.”

The MUSC Blood Bank will be co-hosting a blood drive with The Blood Connection on Thursday, February 10th.

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