On October 2, 2019, U.S. Senator from Georgia, David Perdue, toured the 182,000 square foot Red Cross Blood Processing Center in Douglasville, Georgia. The facility, which was built in 2007 and made possible by the generosity of many Georgia-based foundations, corporations and families, processes around 300,000 units of donated blood every year to help patients at around 90 hospitals in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
Senator Perdue was extremely engaged during his visit, asking questions to processing center staff and Red Cross employees as he toured the facility and learned the various steps taken to ensure donated blood and blood products (like platelets) are safe and ready to help patients in need.
“Unlike many other lifesaving medical treatments, blood donations cannot be stockpiled. Red blood cells have a shelf-life of only 42 days and platelets have a shelf-life of just five days,” said Arthur McDade III, Director of Manufacturing for the Douglasville Processing Center. “This is why having an efficient blood processing center is so imperative and it was an honor to share our work today with Senator Perdue.”
The Senator also heard from Aisha Boyce, a Red Cross employee and three-time recipient of donated blood.
“I received blood from compassionate donors three times,” said Aisha. “Twice when I was sick and once after a car accident. Without it I would not be alive.”
Before Senator Perdue’s visit concluded, he sat down for a discussion about Red Cross humanitarian programs and services, led by Executive Director, Terri Badour, who was joined by McDade III, Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Celia P. Clifford, Director of National Accounts, Alicia Doherty, and Communications Manager, Ashley Henyan.
“We touched on nearly everything the Red Cross does to help Georgians,” Terri Badour said, “from our work with service members and their families to our ongoing efforts to reduce home fire-related tragedies. The Senator expressed a sincere interest in wanting to help, especially when learning our disaster action team volunteers respond to around 2,700 home fires every year.”
The American Red Cross of Georgia serves all 159 counties across the state and the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region covers 119 counties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Last year, Red Cross volunteers in Georgia installed more than 11,000 free smoke alarms to help make residents safer from home fires and the Southern Blood Services Region collected and processed around 560 units of donated blood daily, to help keep up with patient demand.