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Blood Connection experiences historic shortages after storm

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The Blood Connection said it is struggling to keep its desired minimum of a five-to-seven day inventory of each blood type. (Photo/Provided)Between a surge in cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant and a spate of disruptive winter weather, the Piedmont-based The Blood Connection projects it will receive only 60% of the blood its partner hospitals need over the next month. 

The community blood center is the sole provider for every hospital in the Upstate and 80 hospitals across the Carolinas and Georgia, according to the organization. 

The past 10 months have spurred on a historic shortage for the Blood Connection, but as omicron cases are on the rise and roads have been blocked by snow and ice over the past week, the organization has struggled to keep its desired minimum of a five-to-seven-day inventory of every blood type. 

Predictions for snow in the Upstate were spotty to nonexistent at the time this story was posted, according to the National Weather Service, but other South Carolina counties within The Blood Connection’s service area continue to be under a winter weather advisory for the weekend. 

“You never know when it could be a family member that has a bad day driving on the highway,” Greer resident Chris Rains said in a news release. Rains’ life was saved after an auto accident when the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System gave him a transfusion donated through The Blood Connection. 

The Blood Connection said its ability to bridge the shortage depends on businesses, churches and schools that host blood drives. Donors will be able to opt in for COVID-19 antibody testing within three days of donation. 

A few local organizations that will host a drive this weekend include: 

· Joan Herlong & Associates, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at 1 McDaniel Greene, Greenville 

· Walmart in Gaffney, 2:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Saturday at 165 Walton Drive 

· Walmart in Union, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at 513 N. Duncan By-Pass 

· Pumpkintown Fire Department, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 4205 Pumpkintown Highway near Pickens 

· Culver’s, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 2409 Laurens Road, Greenville 

· Craft Axe Throwing, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 1320 Hampton Ave., Unit 5A, in Greenville 

· Sealed Air Corp., noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 803 N. Maple St., Simpsonville 

· Riverwind Apartments, 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at 200 Heywood Ave., Spartanburg 

· Plankowner Brewing, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 109 Sloane Garden Road, Boiling Springs 

· Lee Road Baptist Church, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at 1503 East Lee Road, Taylors 

· Walmart in Laurens, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 922 E. Main St. 

· Walmart in Anderson, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 651 S.C. Highway 28 Bypass.

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.

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