Some said they were uncomfortable with needles, but they overcame their nervousness to help those in need.
"I don't particularly like needles when they're turned toward me," said Glenda Glass, a nurse. "(But) one little initial stick and that's it. There's no pain or discomfort to it. It's really important (to give blood) because it can be used for so many things."
Glass was one of 202 donors who gave blood in the two-day Columbia County Emergency Management Agency Winter Blood Drive.
The event was held in co-operation with the Shepeard Community Blood Center. A total of 157 pints of blood was collected at the Evans Government Center on Thursday, and 45 pints were collected at the Roads and Bridges department in Appling on Friday.
"I know that you can't buy blood, and it's not something they can manufacture," said Pam Tucker, Columbia County's director of emergency services.
Sixty percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 5 percent does, according to the blood center's Web site.
There is typically a critical need for blood in the Augusta area in the summer and after Christmas because donations plummet when families vacation, Tucker said.
"Right now we need Type O and Type B, both positive and negative," said Sarah Childers, a community relations coordinator with the blood center.
"Usually the need is determined by the (blood) types of the people treated in the hospitals," she said. "Right now, even though Type O is the most common type, it is also the most needed type or the most used."
According to the blood center's Web site, there is a less than one-day supply of O-positive and O-negative blood, and a one- to two-day supply of types B-positive and B-negative. The Shepeard centers also collect platelets, plasma and red blood cells to meet the needs of different patients.
Statistically speaking, during a blood drive, about 8 percent of donations must be thrown out because the blood is unusable for medical reasons, Childers said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.