12/15/2016 12:17:43 PM
Just days before Christmas, blood donors in the Charleston area have the opportunity to give possibly the most important gift – that of helping to save a life.
Trident Regional Medical Center is hosting its ninth annual holiday blood drive on Friday, Dec. 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 9330 Medical Plaza Drive on the bloodmobile. The drive is the only blood drive scheduled for Dec. 24 in the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region.
Every day, the Red Cross must collect 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. But during the winter months, donations tend to decline. Holiday activities and travel, seasonal illnesses and winter weather can make it difficult for people to donate blood.
The need for blood doesn’t stop during the holidays. While people gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, patients may spend them in a hospital room and need blood and platelets. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
Donors who come to the Holiday Blood Drive can help save as many as three lives with one blood donation. All presenting donors will receive a free long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
To schedule an appointment to give, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code ‘TridentMed’, call 1-800-RED CROSS or download the Blood Donor App.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.