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The blood will be used to help Versiti, the blood center that serves the area, and to meet the immediate medical needs of the eight remaining victims.
The answer is the second time BERC has activated since its launch in September. The program – which includes 21 blood centers serving more than 30 states – is the country’s only emergency safety net that requires immediate transfusion treatment.
Through BERC, blood centers prepare for urgent needs by collecting additional blood products on a rotating roster. Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank, Coastal Bend Blood Center and Oklahoma Blood Institute were the responding blood centers for this emergency activation.
“Situations like these are exactly why BERC was formed,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. “When the need for blood is great and immediately after tragic events like this, we can act quickly and decisively to ensure that patients have access to the blood products they need.”
The United States continues to experience a nationwide anemia due to increased need for blood products and declining donation levels. As a result, most blood centers operate with little to no safety net of available blood units for emergencies.
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“Almost all communities are at risk of their blood supply being severely depleted in the face of a mass accident,” said Nelson Hellwig, CEO of the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), which coordinates BERC logistics and administration. “Through BERC, we deliver transfusion safety nets that provide hope and healing in the darkest times.”
Blood Emergency Readiness Corps was founded in 2021 to meet the immediate transfusion needs of partner centers when faced with a large-scale emergency that requires blood transfusions. To learn more and see a list of participating blood centers, visit bloodemergencyreadinesscorps.org.
Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank is a non-profit, community-based blood program, committed to providing a quality blood supply that responds to community needs, in a cost-effective manner. For more information, visit cpbb.org.
The Coastal Bend Blood Center covers 10 counties and 20 medical facilities in the Coastal Bend region. The Blood Center is a proud partner in overseeing healthcare in Coastal Bend and will continue to do its part to guarantee that the community’s blood needs are met. For more information, visit Coastalbendbloodcenter.org.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute is the 6th largest independent blood center in the country, providing more than 90% of Oklahoma’s blood supply to over 160 hospitals and medical facilities. For more information, visit obi.org.
Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), a non-profit organization, is a strategic and operational alliance of self-governing, independent local blood centers that models the values of local blood bank and supports each other through group initiatives, shared resources and collective expertise. For more information, visit actscorp.org.
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