|One of three independent blood donor programs in SC
RMC Blood Assurance Program –Securing the Blood Supply for Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties
RMC Blood Assurance Staff (from left) Gail Lott,
Shea Woodward, Autumn Hutto and Tabitha Felder
Since 1970 the Regional Medical Center’s Blood Assurance Program has supplied the blood needs for the Orangeburg and Calhoun region. It’s a big job and the needs grow every year.
“Most hospitals have to rely on other agencies for blood. The Regional Medical Center has its own community blood bank and we’re very proud of that,” said RMC Blood Donor Center supervisor Gail Lott. “We’re one of only a few independent, community-based blood donor programs in the entire state.”
Certified by the American Association of Blood Banks, the Regional Medical Center’s Blood Assurance Program (BAP) maintains the highest standards in blood collection and testing. “That means that our patients and their families can be confident in the blood supply at the Regional Medical Center,” said Lott.
The demand for blood increases every year. The blood demands for 2008 increased ten percent over 2007. The blood collection goal for 2009 is 4500 units.
“This year we’re encouraging our donors to make a pledge to donate four times throughout the year,” said BAP coordinator Shea Woodward. “If they give two units per appointment, they would have donated one galloon of blood by the end of the year. All donors who give one gallon or more in a calendar year are recognized and treated to a dinner and entertainment at our annual BAP banquet,” she said.
Another benefit of donating to the BAP is that it can save medical costs for family members and friends. “If a patient requires a blood transfusion in our hospital, a family member or friend can donate blood in their name and the patient will not be charged for the cost of the blood,” said Woodward.
Blood for the BAP is collected from community members in three ways: 1) at the Blood Donor Center located at the Regional Medical Center, 2) on the traveling blood mobile, and 3) at special community events.
“In addition to our Blood Donor Center, our blood mobile travels throughout the region so that staff can collect blood on site at area schools, businesses and industries,” said Lott. “These special groups serve a vital role in meeting the blood needs,” she added.
“Blood donors are very special people; they care so much about others and give of themselves so others may live. They are truly heroes,” said Shea Woodward BAP coordinator.
For more information about becoming a blood donor or to schedule a blood drive with the blood mobile, please call RMC’s Blood Donor Center at 803-395-2419. Located on the Regional Medical Center’s first floor next to the Lab, the Blood Donor Center is open form 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (except holidays). Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are welcome on a first come, first served basis.