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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Nation’s first emergency blood reserve doubles in size

November 11, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Formed just eight weeks ago, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) has more than doubled its size to include participation from 19 community blood centers which operate in 18 states across the U.S.

BERC, which launched in early September with just seven founding members, is a group of blood centers who commit to joining together to be prepared for mass transfusion disasters that might strike. The blood centers commit to collecting extra units on a rotating “on call” schedule to ensure an emergency reserve of blood is available for emergency needs.

The program experienced its first activation within two weeks, responding to a mass shooting at a grocery store in Memphis, TN. The quick response by BERC highlighted the need and effectiveness of an emergency reserve system, which quickly brought additional partners on board.

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“The Blood Connection is proud to join the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, as this initiative will be a much needed safety net to blood centers who experience a mass casualty emergency in their area,” said Delisa English, president and CEO of The Blood Connection. “Our organization and community will stand ready to assist those in need in the event of activation.”

As the program continues to grow, the scope of potential emergency responses can grow as well.

“The addition of these new blood centers makes the reserve more robust and responsive,” said Nelson Hellwig, CEO of the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), which coordinates BERC’s logistics and administration. “We’re thrilled to see so many new blood centers step up and commit to our emergency reserve program.”

To learn more about BERC and see the full list of participating blood centers, visit bloodemergencyreadinesscorps.org.

The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps was founded in 2021 to meet the immediate transfusion needs of partner centers when faced with a large-scale emergency situation that requires blood transfusions. To learn more and see a list of participating blood centers, visit bloodemergencyreadinesscorps.org.

View original content: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nations-first-emergency-blood-reserve-doubles-in-size-301422197.html

SOURCE Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS)