Doctors Hospital blood drive could help Joseph M. Still Burn Center patients

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Lisa Reese watched the blood flow out of her arm Tuesday into a collection bag.

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Dr. Radhika Subramanian has her blood drawn during a blood drive at Doctors Hospital on Tuesday.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Dr. Radhika Subramanian has her blood drawn during a blood drive at Doctors Hospital on Tuesday.

Though she was helping out in a blood drive at Doctors Hospital for Shepeard Community Blood Center, she knows some of that blood could be coming back to help patients at Joseph M. Still Burn Center.

Reese, a transcription supervisor for the company that represents the center’s medical staff, said about half her colleagues give blood regularly because they know the need.

“We do use a lot of blood products,” said burn coordinator Kathy Holliman. “There are several employees who donate because they know how important it is to our patients. And not just to our patients but to the community in general.”

That’s why Reese donates.

“It’s what you ought to do for everybody,” she said.

As one of the largest burn centers in the country, it regularly sees patients not just from Georgia and South Carolina but from Florida and Mississippi, too, Reese and Holliman said.

“We’ve had some from Tennessee, North Carolina, pretty much the southeastern area” of the U.S., she said.

But as far as she knows, Shepeard always finds a way to meet the needs of those burn patients, who use all manner of blood products, Holliman said.

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scgator 05/02/12 - 05:43 am
she knows some of that blood

she knows some of that blood could be coming back to help patients at Joseph M. Still Burn Center.

I appreciate volunteers, but all is not usually presented in public format; the "blood selling" industry is a huge moneymaker for the Blood Collection Industry. While, it is a valuable commodity that is of extreme importance, their tactics for solicitation prey on people's caring and nurturing instincts. Again, this is an important product, but, it is also an industry that really needs to come under scrutiny; as they always tend to imply that their "need" is locally a crisis, when in most cases it is to fill order requests from other areas at a huge profit to them. Yes, you get the satisfaction and "warm fuzzies" that you have helped save a life, but you have also been duped locally for the love of profit.

prascon 05/02/12 - 05:23 pm
Respectfully, I would like to

Respectfully, I would like to respond to the comment with some new information. Shepeard Community Blood Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Shepeard is the contracted provider for 20 local hospitals and the JMS Burn Center and partners exclusively with volunteer blood donors to provide the blood and blood products that are transfused into patients in our area.

Blood provided by volunteer donors is considered to hold fewer risks to the patient. Therefore, according to the FDA, which regulates the blood industry, blood bags must be labeled as "paid" or "unpaid." Shepeard provides unpaid blood exclusively. Volunteer blood cannot be bought or sold but there is a processing fee that is charged to cover costs such as testing, utilities, labor, equipment, etc. We are very careful with costs and our processing fee to our hospital customers is among the lowest in the country.

We cannot provide the blood products so desperately needed without the willing participation of volunteer blood donors. We have noticed that people will help when they truly understand the need, so we often share stories that inspire and inform potential blood donors. I hope this helps explain why "warm fuzzies" are a part of this kind of giving. Donating blood with Shepeard is a deeply personal gift straight from your heart. When you take an hour out of your busy day, your blood donation can help save three local lives. I would like to invite anyone to tour our Augusta Center, located at 1533 Wrightsboro Road, sit down with our President/CEO, Kevin Belanger, and share thoughts, comments and learn more about YOUR Community Blood Center.
To schedule a time, contact me at
Pamela Rascon, Director Community Resources

bjmuns 05/03/12 - 11:33 am
First, I would like to say

First, I would like to say THANK YOU to all of the volunteer donors in the CSRA. You know the importance of giving the gift of blood. And yes, it is a gift, something that is given from the heart, with no expectation of “what is in it for me”. The blood that is donated to Shepeard Community Blood Center (SBC as we call them) goes to the 20 hospitals that they support. This community has been given a huge responsibility by having the number of hospitals that we have and by having the largest burn center in the USA. This means that the need for blood products in our community is enormous on a daily basis. Local residents step up to this challenge every day when they volunteer to donate with SBC.

As a blood banker, every day I see the importance of volunteer donors such as those that donate to SBC. Without SBC and their generous donors, we would not be able to provide blood products for our many patients. These patients are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. They are alive because someone was generous enough to take an hour out of a busy day and donate blood. I am alive today because 6 people cared enough to donate. The secret in all of this is to have the product available BEFORE the need arises and we can only do this with the help of SBC and the support of the volunteer donors in our community.

On an average day, we will transfuse 20 units of Red Blood Cells. This is just one day and one hospital. Multiply that by 30 days in a month and 20 hospitals and you realize just how great the need is in our community for this precious product. You also realize just how generous the people are who live in the CSRA for SBC to be able to support this need with only volunteer donors. We never know who will come through our doors in the next few minutes or what their needs will be but we have proven that we are prepared for and can handle even the worst disaster because of SBC and the caring people who live here.

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