Fire department continues 16-year long donations to Cape Fear Valley
The Beaver Dam Volunteer Fire Department will hold its 56th blood drive for the Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center on Tuesday.
For 16 years, the fire department has hosted drives for the blood center, according to Dianne Carter, a mobile recruitment coordinator for the blood center.
The center, which supplies blood to Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett and Bladen counties, has experienced a shortage of blood during the COVID-19 pandemic
“The pandemic affected us because our high schools, colleges and our corporate partners provided about 60% of our blood supply, (of) the remaining 40%, about 20% came from our own Cape Fear Valley Health system employees … and then the last 20% comes from the community itself,” she said. “With the pandemic happening, it took away because of the school closures for high school and colleges, and now all our corporate partners can’t host blood drives right now because of the pandemic.”
Community-organized blood drives like this are important when there’s a short supply of blood, she said.
“The importance for these community-based blood drives is to keep a safe adequate supply of blood for our community because we do serve four counties,” she said. “We don’t sell or outsource our blood to anybody, it stays right here to save maybe you, your neighbor, your friends, your family members. That’s why it’s important to keep that right here locally.”
The blood drive averages about 30 units of blood per blood drive.
According to Carter, that amount of blood could be used to help many people.
“Thirty units of blood can potentially save 90 people,” she said. “On one end of the scale, one unit of blood can be separated into a bag of red cells, a bag of platelets and a bag of plasma, and we’d give it to three different patients. On the other end of the scale, 30 units can be used to save one person’s life that was in a car accident or a shooting.”
Carter added that the shortage needs to be addressed in case of emergencies.
“When you have an emergency type of situations and stuff — like hurricane season is coming up … if we didn’t have a full supply of blood on our shelves we would have to reach to other blood banks, who are also facing these shortages because these shortages are nationwide,” she said.
According to Carter, the blood donor center also has a blood assurance plan where a donor can build blood credits when they donate there. If that individual is admitted to the Cape Fear Valley health system and needs blood, they can use those credits so they are not charged for the blood.
The Beaver Dam Volunteer Fire Department blood drive, located at 11042 NC 210 in Roseboro, starts at 2:30 p.m. and there will be on-site registration. An ID is required to donate. People who are feeling ill shouldo stay home.
Staff writer Akira Kyles can be reached at email@example.com.
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