Incentive to Donate Blood

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – There is an urgent call for blood donors.

According to the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region, blood supply is dangerously low due to extreme heat.

“When it gets hot outside, people just don’t want to get out,” says Jamie Muldrow with the Red Cross.

That means empty shelves inside the blood storage area are a dire situation.

“All types of blood donations are needed,” adds Muldrow.

Muldrow says not only is the heat keeping people indoors.  Donors who make appointments are canceling them.

“If you can’t come in and donate, try to find a friend or family member to donate in your place,” says Muldrow.

Muldrow says with a 42-day shelf life for donated blood, the supply has to constantly be replenished.  If not, people like Fred Kotoske could actually die.  He says two weeks ago, he almost did when he desperately needed a blood transfusion.

“When they put the needle in for the transfusion, they said I was a ‘six’ hemoglobin, which is no-no land.  If they hadn’t had the opportunity to grab that blood, I would not be here,” said Kotoske.

Now, back on his feet, Kotoske is taking his appreciation a step further.  The Midlands Taco Bell Franchisee is giving away $10 coupons this week to those who show up to donate blood.

“When I heard there was such a serious shortage, we decided to do what we are doing now for the community,” remarks Kotoske.

He is giving back because someone gave to him, the gift of life.  “You never know when you could be the one who needs blood.”

For more information on the coupon incentive and to find out where and when you can donate, contact the Red Cross at 803-251-6034.

To find out about the many blood drives taking place in our area, click here.

Related Links:

August 23, 2010 – Red Cross makes urgent call for blood donation