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January is National Blood Drive Month

Posted: January 10, 2013 6:28 p.m.
Updated: January 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Photo courtsy American Red Cross/

Personal coffers may be depleted as a direct result from the holidays, but that doesn’t mean that the giving needs to stop. January is National Blood Drive Month -- which provides plenty of opportunities for residents to roll up their sleeves and donate some of life-saving liquid.

The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O, but whether someone is type O, A, B or AB, blood is always in demand and donations can help others. A single pint of donated blood can save up to three lives. The process is simple and usually lasts a little more than an hour. Donating blood is a four-step process consisting of registration, medical history screening, a mini-physical and refreshments.

The Red Cross has a 10 chapters which make up the South Carolina Blood services region. Blood drives in Kershaw County are coordinated by the chapter in Columbia with local organizations who act as hosts for the drives. All blood donors must be 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. There are additional weight requirements for donors 18 years old and younger.

Blood drives are scheduled on a regular basis at KershawHealth. According to Medical Technologist and blood drive coordinator Jennifer Wiles, KershawHealth hosts drives every nine weeks.

Jessica Garrett, Red Cross donor recruitment representative for Central South Carolina, said donations from KershawHealth totaled 315 units of blood in 2012 during seven blood drives.

“For 2013 they are scheduled for seven blood drives again, with a goal of 350 units of blood,” Garrett said.

Countywide, Garrett said the total number of units collected in 2012 totaled 1,181 from 33 blood drives. These numbers are based on recorded units donated in zip codes 29020, 29045 and 29078.

This year, there continues to be ample opportunities to give, including the following upcoming drives scheduled in county this month, all in Camden:

• Jan. 23, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- KershawHealth, 1315 Roberts St.

• Jan. 25, 7 a.m. to noon -- Oak Mitsui, 29 Battleship Road Ext.

• Jan. 31, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Camden High School, 1022 Ehrenclou Drive

Donors can schedule an appointment online at for any of these blood drives.


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