Grand Strand Donor Center Holds Extended Hours to Prepare for Holidays

January 4, 2010

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — The American Red Cross Grand Strand Donor Center is extending hours of operation Tuesday, Dec. 22 in an effort to prepare for the holiday blood needs. All eligible blood donors are invited to give the ‘gift of life’ from 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at the donor center, located at the Northwoods Plaza, 7747 North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross aluminum water bottle.

Blood donations often decline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day due to holiday preparations and travel, but the need for blood remains constant. It’s important to take the time to give the gift of life during the holiday season.

We’re so grateful for our dedicated blood donors, but now we’re asking them to not only continue to give themselves, but to challenge their friends and family to also give the gift of life,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region. “With more Red Cross advocates spreading the word, we stand a greater chance of being able to meet the needs in our community this holiday season.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 54 hospitals and must have 500 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.