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Breaking down the 4 different types of blood donations

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woman donating blood

The Blood Connection’s new Charleston center is hosting its grand opening Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. | Photo provided

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DYK that every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood? The good news is that every time you donate blood, you save up to 3 local lives.

And The Blood Connection is making that donation process even easier by opening their Charleston donation center, where they’ll host an official grand opening for the public on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m.

At a center (like the new CHS one), you can give four types of donations (vs. just being able to give whole blood at a mobile blood drive).

Here are those four donation types, and which kinds of lives they save:

💉 Plasma

What: Liquid portion of blood that transports water + nutrients to the body’s tissues

Who it helps: Burn victims + those with bleeding disorders

Shelf life: 1 year

When + where you can donate: Every 28 days, only at centers

💉 Platelets

What: Small cell fragments in blood that help stop/prevent bleeding

Who it helps: Surgery, transplant + cancer patients

Shelf life: 5 days

When + where you can donate: Every 7 days, only at centers

💉 Red blood cells

What: When only red cells are collected, not other blood components

Who it helps: Trauma, surgery, anemia, blood loss + blood disorder patients

Shelf life: 42 days

When + where you can donate: Every 112 days, in centers + select mobile drives

💉 Whole blood

What: A pint of blood containing red + white cells, platelets and plasma (quickest + most common donation type)

Who it helps: Trauma + surgery patients

Shelf life: 21-35 days

When + where you can donate: Every 56 days, in centers + mobile drives

See hours, info + the online scheduling tool for TBC’s new North Charleston center here. Bonus: Here’s everything we just explained in under 2 minutes.