Kentucky Blood Center leaders say a new donor center in Lexington will help the non-profit organization become self-sufficient, eliminating the need to have blood shipped from other states.
The new donor center, expected to open in mid-July, will be the second KBC donor location in Lexington. The KBC plans to lease a 4,800-square-foot space at Andover Shoppes at 3130 Mapleleaf Drive. KBC already operates a donor center at its headquarters on Beaumont Centre Circle.
U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler presented the organization with a check for $238,000 in federal money Wednesday afternoon for equipment that will be used to screen, collect and test blood donations.
KBC President William Reed said the new center is expected to collect 3,000 units of blood and platelets from 1,000 donors in its first year. It will serve an area with a large percentage of potential donors, and KBC leaders say they hope the organization will no longer have to get blood from outside Kentucky.
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In the past year, the KBC had to have more than 3,000 units of blood shipped from all over the country, Reed said. The organization collected about 82,000 units of blood last year.
"Giving blood is simple, safe, and it saves lives," Reed said.
Reed introduced 2-year-old Luke Landrum, who has received more than a dozen blood transfusions. Luke was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect before he was born and has had four open-heart surgeries and a diaphragm surgery.
"This is why we do what we do," Reed said.
KBC serves about 70 Kentucky hospitals and clinics in more than 60 counties.