HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — The American Red Cross recently put out a report saying the organization is experiencing an emergency blood and platelet shortage. In a press release:

A sharp drop in blood donor turnout has contributed to the lowest post-summer blood inventory level in six years, and donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to help meet the needs of patients this fall.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give through Sept. 30 will receive a limited-edition, football-inspired Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, plus a free haircut coupon by email from Sport Clips Haircuts.* Those who come to donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s® Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.

Shauna Cameron, VP of Physician Services at Carolina Pines, says the hospital industry relies on blood banks for blood inventory. She says it comes in handy during surgeries, ER visits, and other medical procedures.

“We have noticed since the pandemic started that it’s ebbed and flowed a bit to points where the Red Cross has let us know oh we’re getting on short supply,” Cameron says. ” So it’s something we do need to remind our community about. It can save their life. It can save the life of a loved one or even a neighbor,” Cameron continued.

Megan Thompson, Carolina Pines patient and now a mother of three daughters, spent 10 days in the hospital after being diagnosed with Covid and pneumonia and had to be put on a ventilator.

“I was on the vent when I actually had the transfusion itself and I had to have it because I was on blood thinners and I was bleeding from…I had a caesarian when I had my daughter and so I was losing a lot of blood just from having that violent cough,” Thompson says. “If it hadn’t been for the person who donated the blood, I may not be here today.”

Thompson received one pint of blood because of how much she had lost during her stay and she hopes her story helps people understand the importance of donating.

“People need to donate. You know we need to do everything that we can to save someone else life. If that person had not donated the blood, I may not be here for my three girls,” Thompson said.

Carolina Pines is set to have a blood drive event on October 5th. If you would like to donate and need to find a location, visit RedCrossBlood.org