Largest US blood drive since start of the pandemic happening in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- One of the country's largest and longest running blood drives is happening Tuesday at UNC Chapel Hill.

The Carolina Blood Drive takes place inside the Dean E. Smith Center from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 8.

This year's blood drive is the largest to be held in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers hope to have more than 1,000 donors give blood Tuesday.

Last year, during the pandemic, this blood drive collected 800 units of blood. That's why organizers think they can reach their goal of 1,000 this year.

Carolina Blood Drive has helped more than 100,000 patients needing life-saving blood transfusions. Walk-ins will be accepted at this event. However, appointments are encouraged and can be made at redcrossblood.org.

"Right now there is an urgent need for all Type-O donors. Now of course, we'll take blood donations from everyone, there's a need for all blood types. But O is a particular urgent need right now," Jen Deneal said.

This year, the Red Cross has expanded its blood testing to include sickle cell trait screening on all donations from self-identified African American donors.

Donors will also receive a commemorative t-shirt and free food.
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