Following weeks of winter weather throughout the country, blood collection agencies nationwide are calling for help to restock their shelves. Inclement weather in many areas has forced blood drives to be cancelled and prevented scheduled donors from keeping their appointments. The impact is felt locally, as well.
Sampson Regional Medical Center is one of few hospitals in the state that provide most all of its blood supply. While the local area has not experienced severe winter weather, a season of sickness and busy schedules has kept routine donors away. When the hospital cannot sustain its own blood supply, it must purchase from other hospitals or blood collection agencies, such as the American Red Cross. And right now, their supplies are critically short.
While all blood types are appreciated, O- and O+ donors are in highest demand. “Blood is not something we can reproduce. We must have an adequate supply, and we need a sufficient supply of all types in our inventory so that we are prepared to provide blood products for patients with any blood type,” explained Ann Cortes, Director of Laboratory & Blood Donor Services.
Available donors are encouraged to give as immediately as possible. Donors can schedule their appointment by visiting www.SampsonRMC.org/blooddonor or by calling 910-592-2689, x2253. The Blood Donor Center is conveniently located inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center at 233 Beaman Street and is open Monday-Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and extended hours on the second Tuesday of each month, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Donors must meet the following requirements before becoming a blood donor.
Most blood donations last approximately 45 minutes. Donors are eligible every eight weeks to give blood. SampsonRMC is also scheduling onsite blood drives for any organization within the community. Any business, school, church, or other organization may get involved by contacting Debbie Gautier, R.N. at 910-592-2689, ext. 2253.