The Blood Alliance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital opens its new Blood Donor Center.
Times may be tough, but it’s never been easier to give—blood.
A new donor center—the only free-standing collection site in the county—has opened across the street from Beaufort Memorial Hospital at 990 Ribaut Rd., making it much more convenient to donate blood.
“The opening of the donor center could not be better timed,” said BMH President and CEO Rick Toomey. “Typically the need for blood increases, while donations decrease, around holiday time. Our new center will, hopefully, help us keep blood on the shelves for our patients in need now and in the future.”
Renamed The Blood Alliance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, the new facility replaces the Lowcountry Community Blood Center that was housed in a small, one-bed room in the hospital. The expanded site features 1,160 square feet with two beds, two exam rooms and ample parking.
Instead of waiting for a community blood drive, donors can now schedule an appointment anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Walk-ins are also welcome.
“The Blood Alliance needs to meet the demands of our local hospital and it’s important to know that we are the sole provider of blood components to Beaufort Memorial Hospital,” said Michael Mathews, Center Manager for The Blood Alliance operations in South Carolina. “Every pint of blood donated helps us meet those local needs – it only takes about an hour to donate one pint of blood, and that can potentially save three lives.”
Beaufort Memorial relies on The Blood Alliance for an average of 230 units of blood a month. Along with the permanent donor site, the blood bank provides mobile collection units for community blood drives in Beaufort County. In the last fiscal year, the hospital was able to collect 94 percent of the blood it needed compared with 61 percent the previous year.
“The new facility is a very important milestone in our partnership with The Blood Alliance,” said BMH Director of Laboratories Dr. Brad Collins. “It could send us well on our way to being self-sufficient.”
The center is staffed by phlebotomists from The Blood Alliance (TBA), a non profit community blood center headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., which provides blood and blood products to more than 20 hospitals and medical facilities in 10 counties serving Northeast Florida, portions of Georgia and South Carolina. It provides the best possible blood banking system to the regions it serves and is a member of America’s Blood Centers – a national network of independent community blood centers responsible for nearly half of the nation’s blood supply. TBA opened in 1942 and is a non-profit community blood center licensed by the FDA and accredited by the AABB.
“As there is no substitute for human blood, each of us is the ultimate human resource to help save lives,” said BMH Donor Resource Consultant Sallie Stone. “When you shop for gifts this holiday season, think of the gift of life and include donating blood on your list of things to do.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit www.thebloodalliance.com or call (800) 447-1479.