Flu Causes Blood Donation Shortages

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By Rochelle Dean

(WOLO) COLUMBIA,S.C, --

Just in time for the 3rd annual Columbia Lifesavers Blood Drive, The American Red Cross is urging people to think about giving the gift that keeps on giving, blood.

Red Cross Communications Director, Jamie Muldrow says not nearly enough people are doing their part to help keep their shelves stocked. In fact, only 3 percent of the population is donating.

Muldrow says a severe flu season and wintery mess in the North East isn't making the situation any better. Either people are bed ridden and unable to give because of influenza, or stuck in their homes because of the snowfall.

" You never know when you could be on the receiving end of a blood transfusion. You never know when it's going to be someone you love, someone you care about. If you are scared to donate blood, think about how scared that patient is at the thought of not having the blood they need."

Mayor Steve Benjamin is teaming up with the South Carolina Red Cross for The Lifesavers Blood Drive which kicks off Tuesday. The event will take place from 7am until 2pm Tuesday and Wednesday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street.

This year's goal is to collect 500 pints of blood. That will be donated to more than 50 hospitals statewide.

For more information call: (803)312-5609

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