Palestine Regional Medical Center (PRMC) is getting some new blood, so to speak, as they recently switched blood providers from East Texas’ Stewart Regional Blood Center to North Texas’ Carter BloodCare.

“It was all based on availability,” PRMC spokesperson Lynn Scribner said about the change. “We were getting concerned about keeping a proper blood supply on our shelves.

“The blood supply was more available with Carter BloodCare,” Scribner explained. “With a good supply we have the assurance of knowing we always have enough blood on hand to meet the needs of our patients.”

In support of the new community blood center, the hospital is hosting two public blood drives during the month of May — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 at the Palestine Regional Rehabilitation Hospital’s Dogwood Room, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22 in the PRMC Café II Room.

The community is encouraged to donate blood at one of these drives.

“We thank the Palestine groups that run blood drives with Carter BloodCare,” PRMC’s lab director Jan Gardner said. “We hope area residents will support the hospital’s blood drives on May 3 and 22, as they will be helping patients in their own community.”

Carter BloodCare, based out of Bedford, is one of the largest community-centered volunteer blood programs in the United States, providing more than 300,000 units of lifesaving blood components for patients.

The blood center provides blood components and transfusion services for patients at 250 healthcare facilities in 29 North Central Texas counties. Physicians order blood for 500 patients each day within Carter BloodCare’s service area.

“We are committed to meeting PRMC’s ongoing blood needs,” Carter BloodCare Chief Executive Officer Dr. Merlyn Sayers said. “Carter BloodCare subscribes to a community-based blood banking philosophy. Donors who give blood for their community will serve their community.

“As the blood center of Palestine, we look forward to working together with area residents to ensure an ample blood supply for their hospital.”

Potential blood drive donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. There is no age limit for donors, and most medications do not interfere with donor eligibility.

For further information call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-DONATE-4 or visit carterbloodcare.org.

For additional information about the blood drives, contact Jan Gardner at 903-731-1363. Everyone who registers to donate blood will receive a T-shirt and be entered automatically into a drawing to win a $1,000 Home Depot shopping spree.

Carter BloodCare is a not-for-profit, community-based blood center, accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and affiliated with America's Blood Centers.

The main campus of Carter BloodCare rests on 16.5 acres in Bedford, located near D/FW Airport. The facility is specially equipped to store, process, and test all blood components locally before distribution. The testing laboratory, operated by Blood Systems Laboratories, is one of the most advanced in the nation.

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com

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