As part of the national Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), Blood Assurance is on alert to potentially ship blood to the hospitals in and around Lewiston, Maine, the scene of a horrific mass shooting that claimed at least 18 lives and left at least 13 more injured.
“Our local blood supply has been feeling the effects of a critical blood shortage,” said Blood Assurance CEO, J.B. Gaskins. “We are grateful for donors who are hearing the devastating news and want to help people receive the blood they need by booking appointments to donate in the days ahead. Your donations will keep our national blood reserve stocked and ready to assist if called upon to support the needs of patients in Maine.”
BERC is composed of 35 community blood centers across the nation that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, “on call” schedule. Blood Assurance is one of the centers on call this week. The BERC Network has been called upon to provide blood five times since its inception in September 2021.
Donors can visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628, or text BAGIVE to 999777, to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted.
To be eligible to donate, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids and eat a hearty meal prior to donating.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.
About the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), a joint effort of 35 community blood centers, was founded in 2021 to meet immediate transfusion needs when faced with large scale emergency situations that require blood transfusions. These blood centers commit to collecting extra units on a rotating “on call” schedule to create an available supply of blood for emergency needs.