Blood drive keeps supply up at local Hospital

The Blood Connection and CarolinaEast partner for Blood Drive
Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 8:31 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The coronavirus continues to impact many aspects of our daily lives, it’s also having an effect on the number of blood donors.

The Blood Connection partners with CarolinaEast Medical Center for a blood drive
The Blood Connection partners with CarolinaEast Medical Center for a blood drive(Stacia Strong)

That’s why on Tuesday The Blood Connection out of Greenville and CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern hosted a blood drive at Garber United Methodist Church.

The event saw more than 100 people come out to donate. As part of the donation, The Blood Connection offered free COVID-19 Antibody testing. Brian Lewis is the Donor Resources Manager for the Blood Connection and he said donors can get their results for the testing within 7 business days.

”The antibody testing and what it means is that your body is producing antibodies, it doesn’t mean that you have, doesn’t mean that you have had it, just your body is responding to kind of protect itself,” said Lewis.

Lewis says hosting blood drives right now has been difficult during the pandemic but that they want people to know they are safe to give blood. “It is safe to give blood, we work closely FDA and CDC to ensure that everything is done as safely as possible, we’re practicing social distancing wherever we can and there has been no transmission of COVID-19 through blood transfusions.”

For CarolinaEast Medical center having a steady supply of blood donations is critical to the health and well being of their patients. Jennifer Lewis is the laboratory director for the hospital, and she says that while their supplies of blood are currently at a good level she knows that summer travel means their will be an increase in demand.

The blood collected as part of Tuesday’s drive will stay at CarolinaEast. Jennifer Lewis says, “It’s nice to know when I do donate mine it’s staying right here in our area and can help those that are here for cancer treatments, surgeries, or whatever.”

The blood drive also benefited a local nonprofit, Backpack Blessings received $10 for every blood donation. The organization provides meals to students in need in several counties.

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