With area blood supplies critically low, Pam Tucker says she is hoping residents will roll up their sleeves to donate at an upcoming blood drive.
"There has been a tremendous blood shortage, as there always is after the holidays," said Tucker, Columbia County's Emergency Services director. "We still have as many people to donate blood. It is a wonderful opportunity to do something really special."
In observance of National Blood Donor Month, the annual EMA Winter Blood Drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Evans Government Complex. The Shepeard Community Blood Center Bloodmobile will be at the county Roads and Bridges Department on Columbia Road in Appling from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
Tucker said she hopes the two-day drive will bring in 200 donors.
"(Blood supplies) are terribly low," said Pamela Rascon, the blood center's Community Services director. "We are struggling every day right now to meet the needs of the patients in local hospitals."
The center provides blood products to 13 area hospitals, including Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the largest burn center in the Southeast.
"We're squeaking by every day praying we don't have another bad accident or severe injury," Rascon said. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially O negative, which is the universal blood type, she said.
Each donor at the EMA blood drive will receive a free lunch from Chik-fil-A, a National Blood Donor Month T-shirt and a wellness check including a cholesterol screening. Donors must be at least 17 years old and in good health and have not donated blood in eight weeks. A photo ID is required.
For those unable to attend the blood drive, donations can be made at any Shepeard blood center - 1533 Wrightsboro Road in Augusta; 112 Davis Road in Martinez; 460 N. Belair Road in Evans; and at 1019 Pine Log Road in Aiken. For more information, call Tucker at (706) 868-3303 or Rascon at (706) 737-4551.
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