(BERC Network – May 25, 2022) – Today, the national Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) was activated to send much needed blood to the hospitals in and around Uvalde, Texas, scene of Tuesday’s tragic elementary school shooting that claimed at least 21 lives and left several more injured.
“Our BERC Network was activated to help our partner blood center, South Texas Blood and Tissue meet the need of trauma patients at local hospitals in Uvalde, Texas,” said Nelson Hellwig, CEO of the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services and Administrator of the BERC Program.
As part of their on-call week, the following community-based blood centers have rushed blood to the region: SunCoast Blood Centers; Carter BloodCare, The Community Blood Center (Appleton, WI), The Blood Connection, The Blood Center (New Orleans, LA); Vitalant; Rock River Valley Blood Center; Community Blood Center of the Ozarks; Miller-Keystone Blood Center (Bethlehem, PA) and LifeServe Blood Center.
“Our hearts are broken by this senseless tragedy,” said Scott Bush, CEO of SunCoast Blood Centers. “We have mobilized our team to support the needs of local patients and hospitals in South Texas.”
Today’s activation marks the fourth time since its inception in September 2021 that the BERC Network has been called upon to provide blood during a national emergency.
“There are no words to express how deeply saddened we are about the loss of so many innocent lives,” said The Blood Connection President & CEO, Delisa English. “Because of BERC, we are at least able to help the people of South Texas and their local blood center. Times like these remind us of why we continuously urge our community to donate blood.”
The blood from BERC Network of blood banks is being sent to South Texas Blood and Tissue, the steward of the local blood supply in that part of Texas.
About the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC), a collaborative effort of 30 community blood centers, was founded in 2021 to meet immediate transfusion needs when faced with large scale emergency situations that require blood transfusions. These blood centers commit to collecting extra units on a rotating “on call” schedule to create an available supply of blood for emergency needs.