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Community citizens encouraged to donate blood

Posted: September 17, 2010 12:48 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2010 12:47 p.m.

Kershaw County Emergency Services is partnering with the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region for the first annual “Boots, Badges & Gloves” blood battle. The event will be held 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday at K-Mart, 2209 W. DeKalb St. in Camden.

Camden-area residents are invited to show their support for local firefighters, police officers and EMS workers by giving blood and being a lifesaver for patients in need. Donors are encouraged to vote for their favorite team: “boots”-firefighters, “badges” –police officers or “gloves” –EMS workers.

For every unit of blood collected, the Red Cross will tally one vote for Kershaw County Fire Services, police or EMS employees, their family members and friends, along with community supporters are invited to participate.

The Red Cross closely monitors national and local blood supplies to ensure donations are keeping pace with hospital need for blood products in order to meet ongoing and emergency patient care.

“There is a critical need for blood donors now,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer for the South Carolina Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “This summer we have had a particularly difficult time recruiting enough blood donors to meet the requirements of our community’s hospitals and the patients they serve.”

Donors with all blood types are needed, but especially those with type O negative. Red Cross officials say type O negative donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a shortage. That’s because type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type, and is most readily given to patients in emergency and trauma situations.

Every day, more than 39,000 pints of blood are needed for patients in the United States. Blood is used for the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients, trauma victims and more. Each whole blood donation can help save up to three lives.

“We urge people to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now,” said English. “Chances are, someone is counting on you right now for their very life.”

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