Supplies of blood slow to a trickle

Last week’s holiday was no vacation for the six people who were admitted to the Joseph M. Stihl Burn Center at Doctors Hospital. Their burns, from fireworks, grills and car accidents, took a toll on the area’s blood supply.

“Burn patients are the most severe and the most sick patients there are,” said Pamela B. Rascon, Director of Community Resources for Shepeard Community Blood Center.

Holidays such as Independence Day create a spike in blood use due to accidents, 50 percent of which occur in the home. The blood supply at Shepeard, which provides blood and blood products for 15 hospitals in 11 counties, took a hit. The center desperately needs donors. Until the end of July, every person who donates blood to the center is entered into a drawing to win electronics or a $100 gas card.

“We’re hoping that with some of the these hot items that some people who may have fallen out of the loop in regular donating or maybe had never even thought of donating will see these and say, ‘Hey, that’s pretty neat,’” Rascon said.

Two donors this week will win a Sony PSP or $100 gas card. From July 15 – 21, donors can win a $250 VISA gift card or a $100 gas card. An XBOX 360 and a $100 gas card will be given to lucky winners who donate between July 22 – 28, and from July 29 – Aug. 5 donors can get their groove on with a 60GB iPod with video — or that handy $100 gas card.

Jennifer Woodard is moved to donate by another kind of prize. She is the mother of triplets Elana, Grayson and Emily, born prematurely after a difficult pregnancy during which she required a number of blood transfusions. Without them, Woodard would not have survived to see her daughters.

“I was a blood donor before, but I never knew how important it was until after my family benefited so much from donated blood,” Woodard said.

Shepeard Community Blood Center collects more than 32,000 units of blood each year. Over 650 donors are needed each week to meet this need. The center has four donation stations: 1533 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta; 112 Davis Road,
Martinez; 1019 Pine Log Road, Aiken; and 460 North Belair Rd, Evans. Call 706-737-4551 or visit shepeardblood.org.

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