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The Catalyst

New blood donation program seeking champions

By Susan Johnson, Ph.D.
Office of Health Promotion

The American Red Cross donation site at the university hospital closed April 5 due to spacing issues. In response, hospital administrators and Red Cross staff met to discuss alternative methods to continue meeting the blood supply demands — at MUSC there are more than 35,000 blood transfusions each year.

Blood graphic

Blood can only be stored for a short period of time; therefore, it must be collected every day to ensure that there is enough blood.

Blood donation facts:

  • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
  • Blood donation is a four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
  • The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10 to 12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
  • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly one pint is given during a donation.
  • A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days or double red cells every 112 days and may donate platelets as few as seven days apart but a maximum of 24 times a year.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
  • Information you give to the Red Cross during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission, except as directed by law.

Blood Drives

June 21: 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Ashley River Tower in the auditorium; June 26: 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Horseshoe. Schedule an appointment online at (sponsor code: MUSC)

MUSC’s Office of Health Promotion and Laboratory Services are working together to establish a new blood donation program on campus without a permanent donation site. Approximately four times a month, blood drives will be scheduled at different locations across campus.

Champions are key to a successful program as they lead volunteer recruitment, scheduling, promotion and serve as a motivator and educator for their team. To learn more or to sign up to become a champion, email

Eligible individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors are asked to eat breakfast and drink plenty of water before arriving. All presenting donors will receive a free cup of frozen yogurt courtesy of Sweet CeCe’s Charleston and will be entered into a drawing for $25 to be used in an MUSC cafeteria, courtesy of Sodexo.

June 13, 2013

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