Friday, Atlanta Medical Center held a blood drive in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The blood collected will be staying in Georgia to help hospitals like Atlanta Medical, which Trauma Coordinator Rochella Mood said treats people with traumatic injuries every day.
“We are a level one trauma center in the heart of downtown Atlanta and we see patients, really from all over the state every day and every week in our trauma center and many of those patients need blood. Some trauma patients can need 20 or 30 units of blood in their first couple of hours as a patient here,” explained Mood. “So, as devastating as it is in Boston, our hearts go out to those people. But we’re seeing this happen on a smaller level, people who are in the traumatic events all the time right here in our own state and we need to have blood that is available that we can have a resource to use when those people come through the doors of our trauma center.”
The hospital coordinated the blood drive with Life South, a non-profit that works to supply blood donations to hospitals in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. While the American Red Cross reported earlier this week that there is plenty of blood to respond to the incident in Boston, Gary Kirkland with Life South said events like that can deplete the supply quickly.
“Most of them are set up for that emergency, but once that emergency comes, then you need donors to resupply,” said Kirkland. “You know, one of the fallacies is if there’s an emergency, I’m going to go donate. That blood already has to be donated. It has to be tested. It has to be processed and it has to be waiting there in the hospital when the patient rolls in. When there’s an emergency, there’s not time to donate to help the people.”
Kirkland explained that blood is often needed for every day procedures, not just traumas.
“There [are] going to be babies born in Atlanta today that are going to need blood transfusions. Probably somewhere in Atlanta today is somebody who’s on chemotherapy who is waiting for their platelet donation so they can have a transfusion,” shared Kirkland. “So, those needs don’t grab headlines, but they’re there every day.”
To learn more about donating blood, visit Life South’s website.