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RIBC is asking Rhode Islanders to step up

Providence – Today Rhode Island Blood Center announced a blood emergency, with a 3-day blood supply. The long-term impact of the pandemic has resulted in a year of significantly less youth first-time donors and 70% fewer blood drives. Complicating matters, recently there has been a surge in blood usage as hospitals perform surgeries and patients seek medical care that was postponed during the pandemic. The increased need and lag in donors has created a chronic gap in blood donations. 

 “As the Northeast reopens, blood usage at hospitals continues to increase and is far outpacing our collections,” said Beau Tompkins, Senior Executive Director of the Rhode Island Blood Center. “Through this new media campaign, we are hoping to raise awareness about our on-going needs and attract the next generation of blood donors to help us build a healthy blood supply. RIBC is losing approximately 200 donations a week and we need everyone who is feeling well and healthy, to consider donating.” 

In partnership with advertising agency Markham Yard, RIBC, and its sister blood centers, are launching new campaign assets that span radio, cable, social media and more. Through humor and compelling narrative, the campaign is being launched to show a new generation of potential donors not only how important it is to regularly donate blood, but also how easy it can be.

With this campaign, RIBC is hoping a bit of humor will help tackle preconceived notions around donating blood and send the message that donating blood is easy.  With funny and relatable advertisements that list “things that hurt more than giving blood”, RIBC is using the campaign to demonstrate to the community that giving blood is simpler and less painful than life’s awkward moments.

Donating blood is safe and it only takes about one hour. We are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.

“The Level One Trauma Center at Rhode Island Hospital saves countless lives, treating patients who’ve had motor vehicle crashes, serious falls, industrial accidents and more,” says trauma surgeon Stephanie Lueckel, MD. “We rely on the blood supply from the Rhode Island Blood Center; their generous donors are providing a critical resource to hospitals and patients. The blood supply also impacts other patients like those undergoing complex surgery and cancer treatment. We’re urging all eligible donors to consider making an appointment to help shore up that life-saving supply.”

Donors can schedule appointments by calling 401-453-8383 or visiting www.ribc.org.

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About Rhode Island Blood Center

Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) was founded in 1979 as a nonprofit community blood center. For over 35 years, RIBC has been the primary supplier of blood and blood products to patients being cared for in hospitals throughout Rhode Island and in neighboring states. Our mission is to help save lives by ensuring a safe, plentiful, and cost-effective blood supply. RIBC is also part of the National Marrow Donor Program and collects stem cells for transplant at its Providence location. RIBC provides therapeutic treatments for patients in local hospitals. Its state-of-the-art laboratory performs donor testing for over 400,000 donations per year.   RIBC is also involved in a variety of local and national research programs in an effort to improve all aspects of the blood supply.  For more information, visit ribc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.