Officials from Milford Regional Medical Center and the American Red Cross celebrated the opening of a new Blood Donor Center at the hospital with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 22.
Milford Regional has participated in Red Cross blood drives for more than a decade, but they were limited by the availability of space. Trish Sablitz, director of Donor Recruitment, Massachusetts Blood Services Region, recognizes the contribution made by Milford Regional throughout the years. “The Red Cross has always appreciated the support of Milford Regional Medical Center as one of our valued hospital partners,” she says. “We are so grateful to Milford Regional for this new opportunity to offer donors a dedicated space to help save patient lives.”
The need for volunteer blood donations across the country is great. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood and platelets for those requiring transfusions. In addition, donated blood must be constantly replenished because it only has a shelf life of 42 days. The Red Cross must collect a staggering 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
Following the ceremony, the first blood drive in the new dedicated space exceeded expectations. According to ARC Account Executive Kaity Lawler, the 27 units of blood donated that day will help up to 81 patients in need.
With the opening of the new emergency department in the Meehan Family Pavilion creating available space in its previous location, Edward J. Kelly, president and CEO of Milford Regional, is excited to now have the opportunity to provide a dedicated area for greater access to blood donations. “As a regional healthcare facility, I feel it is a real opportunity to assist the Red Cross as they go about their mission to provide life-saving blood to those in need,” he says. “This new Blood Donation Center will make it more convenient for blood donors to give and, ultimately, increase the amount of blood contributed through our Medical Center.”
Blood drives scheduled over the next few months include: Saturday, 3/11; Friday, 3/24; Friday, 4/7; Tuesday, 4/25; Saturday, 5/20; and Wednesday, 5/31. For more detailed information or to make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).