Edge Regional changes

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 19, 2000

blood services provider


Features Editor

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Edge Regional Medical Center has made a decision to begin using Montgomery Community Blood Bank (MCBB) for its blood services.

Shelia Newman, ERMC laboratory manager, said the decision was based on two key issues – service and cost.

"American Red Cross that services Edge Regional Medical Center is based in Mobile while Community Blood Bank Services is located in Montgomery," Newman said. "In an emergency need for blood or blood products the time factor is very important for the welfare of the patients. What we are looking at is 45 minutes versus two hours." Newman said she recently had a patient who needed platelets (the component of blood that helps clotting) and the Red Cross could not supply the platelets in the time frame in which the patient needed them.

"MCBB came through for us as they have many times," she said.

The second important reason for using MCBB is cost, Newman said.

"Many people do not realize there is a cost associated with the collection, testing and processing of blood, even if it is received from the American Red Cross," she said. "In fact, the hospital pays a great deal more when receiving blood products from American Red Cross. Furthermore, the American Red Cross is expected to increase costs 40 percent starting in July 2001. Our hospital and community should not continue to pay these prices, especially when there is a competent and viable alternative."

Newman said, with a community blood bank, the blood that is drawn in the community stays in the community.

"The blood is tested overnight, labeled and ready to go to the local hospital usually within 24 hours," she said. "However,

because the amount of blood available to us depends on support from the community, we are encouraging our community to do its blood drives with Montgomery Community Blood Bank because without the support of the community, we will be unable to utilize Montgomery Community Blood Bank services. Therefore, we are asking for community support of donor drives with Montgomery Community Blood Bank services."

According to Newman, ERMC is committed to only doing blood drives with MCBB, which must draw between 300 and 350 units of blood each week to maintain an adequate blood supply in the hospital they serve. Their service area includes Montgomery, Autauga, Crenshaw, Elmore and Pike counties.

"Most donors especially enjoy knowing that their gift of life will be used to help their family, friends and neighbors," Newman said. "We are making a plea to the Pike County community to help us keep a safe amount of blood for our hospital. It will take all of us working together, especially during the summer months when so many regular blood donors are not available because of vacations."

Montgomery Community Blood Bank is a non-profit blood bank. They have a staff on-call 24 hours a day to answer any emergency blood need.