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Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

January 09, 2020

The New Year often prompts people to make resolutions -- in other words, change.  A new resolution is to be a better, healthier, happier individual.  Finding a resolution and sticking to it proves difficult for many. While resolutions are made with good intent, it’s sometimes hard to keep with them. This year, Sampson Regional Medical Center (SampsonRMC) encourages community members to resolve to help their neighbors right here in Sampson County by donating blood. Donating blood takes less than an hour, and blood donors are eligible every eight weeks to give again.  A resolution you can keep by giving just one hour and a pint every eight weeks --sounds doable, right?

Sampson Regional Medical Center is only one of three hospitals in the state of North Carolina that draws its own blood and supplies about 90% of blood needed for hospital patients. That means life-saving measures are taken every single day with donations made by someone from our community – maybe a neighbor, a friend, a church member, or a co-worker.

Blood donations help those fighting life threating illnesses, suffering from rare blood disorders, or trauma victims in need of a lifesaving transfusion. The hospital’s AABB-accredited blood bank is not affiliated with the American Red Cross. The Sampson Regional Blood Donor Center relies on blood donations from people who live or work in Sampson County and who give directly to SampsonRMC.  When community members give, their donation is used locally at SampsonRMC to help patients in need.

January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month to raise awareness of this vital, lifesaving need.  This month, Sampson Regional’s Blood Donor Center will host an Open House on Tuesday, January 14th, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. to bring awareness to the vital need of donors and to recognize current donors for their ongoing support.

According to SampsonRMC’s Director of Laboratory Services, Natalie Lamb, the new year brings a time to reflect on successes from the previous year and look for ways to grow the existing program.  “We are very fortunate to collect between 1,300-1,400 units each year from donations drawn at our Center and at onsite blood drives hosted by local businesses and schools.  However, with each year, the patient need steadily increases, which is why we are continually looking to grow our donor base,” said Lamb. 

By becoming a blood donor, you become part of a larger movement that is helping others right here in Sampson County.  “Each blood recipient is someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, brother or sister, friend or loved one.  Help us make sure our blood supply is adequate when you or someone you know needs blood,” Lamb continued.

Lamb warmly invites current donors and members of the community to attend the Blood Donor Center Open House in celebration of National Blood Donor Month.  “We want to thank our donors and celebrate their support of our mission in helping our local community.  Please join us as we celebrate you, our donors,” she said.

Just on the heels of the open house, Sampson Regional Medical Center will hold an onsite, walk-in blood drive on Thursday, January 30th, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor classroom. Any community donors are invited to attend. A blood donor visitor pass can be obtained in the hospital’s front lobby at the reception desk.

Both events are themed as “Giving in a Winter Wonderland.” “When it’s chilly outside, donating blood will warm your heart,” explained Allison Strickland, Marketing & Community Relations Coordinator.  Step into a SampsonRMC Winter Wonderland and give the gift of blood to your Sampson County neighbor. Donors will enjoy refreshments, receive a free “Winter Wonderland” themed gift after donating, and walk away with a positive feeling that their small action has made a big difference in the life of someone.

Donations are in short supply during winter months due to holidays, illness, inclement weather, and travel, but that doesn’t mean that the need is any less. While SampsonRMC is not experiencing an extreme shortage at this time, it is imperative that a consistent supply is readily available for patients at any time.

For those who cannot attend these special events, donor appointments can be made at other times convenient to the donor. Donors can visit www.SampsonRMC.org/blooddonor to submit a request for more information on blood donor services, schedule an onsite blood drive, or schedule a request for an individual donation time. 

Sampson Regional Medical Center’s Blood Donor Center is conveniently located inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center at 233 Beaman Street and is open Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with extended hours on the second Tuesday of each month until 7:00 p.m. While appointments are not necessary, it is recommended to reserve a donor time to reduce wait.   

Donors must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in good general health
  • Weigh more than 110 pounds
  • Be at least 16 years of age (persons younger than 18 may only donate with parental consent)

Another way to help is by participating in or coordinating a community blood drive.  Blood drives are held throughout Sampson County frequently and are announced on Sampson Regional Medical Center’s social media pages with consent of the hosting organization Community blood drives take place at businesses, churches, schools and other organizations. For more information, contact Natalie Lamb, Director of Laboratory Services, at 910-590-8708.