Connecticut Blood Center opens first permanent location to help with blood shortage

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Blood Center opened its first permanent location in a Middletown shopping center on Tuesday.

“Coming to the blood center, they can actually relax and give back to themselves. You can donate as quickly as an hour, or you can do a longer procedure,” said Beau Tompkins, senior executive director of CTBC.

The Blood Center is part of the New York Blood Center Enterprises. This new center will collect, store, and distribute at a time when the regular blood flow has been disrupted.

“There’s no regular blood drives anywhere because of the pandemic. You aren’t at your office. There are not that many kids at college. What happened is, you close everything down and people didn’t stop getting sick,” said Dr. Bradford Sherburne, director of Transfusion Medicine at Hartford Hospital.

You might have always associated blood donation in Connecticut with the American Red Cross. As it turns out, the folks behind the Connecticut Blood Center have actually been supplying blood to hospitals in Connecticut for a while now.

“You know, there have been disruptions in collection. So the hospitals really needed access to another blood supplier.,” said Tompkins. “And then, through the years, we just gelled a little bit more, and them ultimately they said, ‘hey, can you come into Connecticut and be our provider?'”

“We have to make it more convenient for people to provide their life-saving donations. So I hope this goes a long way to fo it,” said Dr. Sherburne. “The Red Cross is still here, as well as Connecticut Blood Center.”

And the holidays are a time when donations usually drop as people travel to be with family. Cancer survivor Jon DeCasanova says that should be a time to think about saving lives.

“Look around in a moment of silence and just think about these moments that we actually get to have,” said DeCasanova. “It’s moments that I did not necessarily know I would get again.”

He survived because of blood donations. One pint of your blood can actually save three lives.

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