North Charleston, South Carolina – The Covid-19 pandemic completely changed our lives and caused a lot of issues, something that was especially noticeable in the early months when a lot of pandemic measures were enforced, including lockdowns.
The lockdowns hit everyone one way or another. Due to the lockdowns, people were spending less time outside with friends and family. Bars and restaurants were closed, while sports events, concerts, and other types of crowded events remained forbidden for months, all with the aim of less physical contact and lower transmission of the virus, especially in the period prior to the Covid-19 vaccines.
No matter how unpopular these measures were at the time, we can all agree that such bans helped in reducing the number of new Covid-19 cases and, eventually, saved lives. The fact that people avoided all types of crowded events, however, caused the country to run very low on blood units since the start of the pandemic simply because people were not attending the limited number of hosted blood donation events, fearing for their health.
“Our collections have really plummeted because of the concerns about being out in the community,” transfusion medicine specialist with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center Dr. Justin Kreuter said in March 2020. “We’re used to living at a one- to two-week blood inventory. Now a lot of the country is living at a one- to two-day inventory, and it’s challenging to look at what our future holds,” Dr. Kreuter added back then.
Dr. Kreuter further explained that the shortage was not created because the hospitalized Covid-19 patients needed blood products, but it was due to the lack of donations that were coming in. The shortage continued ever since, and although the situation nationwide has improved, the country still struggles to get to the pre-pandemic blood inventory dynamics.
In Charleston County, the American Red Cross organized dozens of blood donation events in the last two and a half years. Despite the fact that the Red Cross and its sponsors did everything possible to implement safety measures to keep potential attendees as safe as possible from becoming infected with the virus, these events have almost never met expectations.
That’s why the American Red Cross continues to host blood donation events more frequently and invites everyone interested in donating blood to take part in Thursday’s events set to take place in North Charleston.
According to the American Red Cross, two blood drive events will take place in North Charleston on July 28. Both events will run from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. One blood drive event will take place at the Citadel Mall, while the other drive event will take place at the Northwoods Mall.
The American Red Cross is partnering with ABC News 4 for these events.