NEW YEAR BLOOD DRIVE: Midlands residents give gift of life to help blood supply shortage

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Due to COVID-19 and the holiday season, blood is in low supply due to a lack of donation drives.

To help out with the shortage, we at ABC Columbia partnered up with the American Red Cross to hold a New Year Blood Drive at Flex Adventure Park’s Sandhills and Irmo locations.

“With COVID going on, I figured it was probably a good time and that it was needed,” said Columbia resident Jamie Boney.

And she’s right.

“Statistics say this is the longest blood shortage we’ve had in 10 years,” confirms Allison Balash, American Red Cross account manager.

Blood is used for many hospital patients for different reasons.

“The first thing that comes to mind is trauma. If you happen to be in a car accident or something like that, more than likely you will need some blood,” Balash said. “There’s also cancer patients that need blood products and people who have certain diseases will need blood on a monthly basis. Even premature babies and mothers giving birth might need some blood. It’s a very wide variety.”

Donors today either gave a whole blood donation or a power red donation, which consists of just your red blood cells.

The blood supply is continually needing to be replenished.

“When we collect the blood, we break it up into three parts. Those three parts all have a different shelf life, but the maximum is about a month long,” Balash said. “That’s why we continually need to keep having blood drives.”

The process was quick and easy for many donors.

“It was really good. They were really friendly and it was easy,” Boney said. “Yeah, I’m definitely doing it again.”

“Yeah it was a real easy process,” said Damion Parker, who also donated blood  at Wednesday’s drive.”Really good people here, thorough cleanings and things of that nature. I felt really comfortable giving blood today. Every little bit helps.”

By giving the gift of life, he says he hopes to start off the new year on a good foot and others to do as well.

“I’m hoping that we can all start to have a more positive perspective, give back and help each other out in any way that we can,” Parker said.

If you’d like to help out, are over 17 and in healthy condition, you have until 7 to come out to Flight Adventure Park’s Sandhills location to donate. There is no appointment needed but The Red Cross’ only recommendation is that you eat a meal before and drink plenty of water.

If you come out and give blood Wednesday, you will have your name entered to win Super Bowl tickets for this year’s big game.

Categories: Local News, News, Richland