Tragedy prompts importance of blood donation

Tragedy prompts importance of blood donation

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hospitals in Boston treated more than 150 people in the city's seven hospitals. They had plenty of blood on hand for those injured and needing surgery.

The bombings in Boston are prompting some people in the Coastal Empire to donate blood.

Community outreach by the American Red Cross, mobile donor centers had been scheduled on campus before the Boston bombings. One donor said it was definitely on his mind when he gave blood on Tuesday.

"I actually heard that a lot of the racers would go straight from the race and go give blood and I thought that was really cool, but causes like that are definitely reasons we should give blood why they need blood," said Nick Rex, of Savannah.

A nurse told WTOC that there has been a steady flow of blood donations all morning. It's what Dean Smith of the American Red Cross Blood Services likes to see. He said being proactive in keeping a supply before disaster strikes is key.

"We always have to be vigilant. We always have to have supply on hand because you never know when disaster is going to strike," Smith said. "Most of our donors are awesome people and we couldn't do what we do without them."

In Boston, there was enough blood to take care of all those who needed it Monday.

It takes three days to process and test donated blood - so the blood that was already in the blood centers in Boston that helped marathon bombing victims. People who then donated after that will replenish what was used.

"It has to be donated; it's a community resource, and a very precious community resource," Smith said.

He added that once people donate blood for the first time, it becomes easier the next time and people will be more likely to do it.

Smith said if half of the people who give once year, gave twice a year – the area would never have a blood shortage.

"It's amazing," he said.

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