Give the gift of life: blood
When trauma patients arrive at Cherokee Medical Center, they’re counting on blood to be there to stabilize them and get them back in good health.
These life-saving blood products only exist through the generosity of others who have stepped up to donate.
Cherokee Medical Center partners with The Blood Connection to process and distribute units of blood so that its emergency room is fully stocked and prepared to handle the next patient in need, said Stephanie McCormick, laboratory manager at Cherokee Medical Center.
On average, Cherokee Medical Center’s emergency room handles more than 300 blood transfusions every year. The hospital uses on average 25 units of blood per month to perform life-saving measures.
Each unit of whole blood donated can be separated out into three components – red blood cells, plasma and platelets – so one whole unit of blood has the capacity to help three patients.
“We have a fully stocked fridge with blood products, so we’re able to keep an inventory of all types of blood. If we didn’t get donations, our inventory would go down and we would not be able to provide products to patients. We haven’t gotten to that point, and we hope we never do,” McCormick said.
McCormick encourages everyone to participate in a blood donation drive every 56 days, which is the window of time in which people can donate following a previous donation. Donations take between 15 and 45 minutes and The Blood Connection offers free giveaways and other incentives during most events.
“We rely on the community to give blood in order to keep our inventory stocked and ready at all times,” McCormick said. “It’s imperative we involve the community. What an important gift it is to donate blood and help others who need it.”
The Blood Connection operates several mobile unit buses that visit select locations to make it convenient for others to donate.
Cherokee Medical Center will host its next blood drive on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 2 to 7 p.m., 1530 N. Limestone St., Gaffney, SC 29340.
Donors can reserve a time slot for that day or find another blood drive in the Upstate by going to The Blood Connection’s website at thebloodconnection.org.