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Coffee Memorial Blood Center joins nation’s first blood reserve

Eric Haley donates much needed O- blood at Coffee Memorial Blood Center
Eric Haley donates much needed O- blood at Coffee Memorial Blood Center
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:44 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Coffee Memorial Blood Center has helped found a first-of-the-nation partnership to prepare for emergency situations where blood needs are high.

According to a news release, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), is composed of seven blood centers from five states that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, “on call” schedule.

The extra blood products will be held in reserve for any critical-need scenario such as a mass shooting or natural disaster.

“The ugly reality that COVID brought to blood collectors is a disturbing uncertainty and scarcity in the blood supply,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Coffee Memorial Blood Center. “When disaster strikes, BERC will give us more confidence that the immediate transfusion needs can be met. Unfortunately, we must adapt, because we are not seeing donor awareness or response following recent high-injury events like the summer shootings in Austin, Texas (14 victims) and Queens, New York (10 victims). BERC provides our area and our partner states a ready-to-go supply of blood to fill the holes appearing in our disaster response fabric.”

The other blood centers involved in BERC include California’s Houchin Community Blood Bank, The Community Blood Center in Wisconsin, Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank and Texas’ We are Blood, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare.

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