LAKEWOOD, Colo., U.S.A. – Demand for the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) continues to mount due to the critical blood shortage, especially when exacerbated with emergencies such as mass casualty incidents and natural disasters. BERC is a collective of blood banks across the U.S. working together to ensure no patient is without blood in an emergency.
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a medical technology company making products that collect, separate and process blood and cells, today announced it is BERC's first corporate sponsor with a $10,000 grant. The grant will help BERC recruit more participating centers, create messaging and marketing materials, and potentially expand this shared responsibility model to other critical blood products needed for trauma care (such as platelets and low-titer O whole blood).
"Blood is essential medicine," said Chetan Makam, General Manager, Global Blood Solutions, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies. "We work directly with blood banks across the country and see the calls for blood donors because the blood supply is in need. This grant is just a small way to help promote a safe, sustainable and adequate blood supply. It's our sincere hope that BERC continues to strengthen the blood supply safety net."
As a leader in unlocking the potential of blood, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is honored to support BERC and its members as they go above and beyond their local charters to serve patients in crisis.
Before BERC, now over a year old, many local blood banks could not properly respond to unforeseeable emergency events requiring blood given the ongoing blood supply crisis.
BERC has grown from seven centers to 33 blood centers across 41 states that are committed to reserving additional units of blood on a rotating, on-call schedule. During a blood center's on‑call weeks, the additional units are held in reserve, ready to be shipped if an emergency arises across BERC's coverage area. If there's no emergency, the reserve units go back into the regular supply. The idea for BERC originated when there was a mass shooting in Austin, Texas. The blood bank sent out a call for blood, and there was no response from the community. BERC officials say it may be a combination of factors: the COVID-19 pandemic and the frequency of emergencies, leading to less news coverage.
The mass shooting at Uvalde, Texas, is exactly the type of situation BERC was created for. The organization went on a red alert and sent blood products to South Texas Blood & Tissue to ensure an adequate blood supply for those in need. In December 2021, when a deadly tornado struck in Bowling Green, Kentucky, BERC activated to supply blood products to Blood Assurance in response.
"We are incredibly grateful to be part of, and to have been on the receiving end of, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps. This united front stands ready when disaster strikes," said J.B. Gaskins, CEO of Blood Assurance. "A heartfelt thank you to Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies for recognizing the important work that the blood centers involved with BERC do each and every day. This grant is significant and will no doubt save lives.
"If people want to help, the best thing they can do is find their local blood center and become a regular blood donor and encourage their friends and neighbors to do the same. Blood donors who want to increase the power of their donations can consider becoming an apheresis donor on a device like the company's Trima Accel® Automated Blood Collection System. Trima Accel allows people to donate more frequently and enables blood banks to collect the components they need most.
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' customers include blood centers, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers and private medical practices. Our customers are based in over 130 countries across the globe. We have 750+ granted patents, with more than 150 additionally pending.
We have global headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado, U.S.A., along with five regional headquarters, seven manufacturing sites and six innovation and development centers across the globe. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation (TSE: 4543), a global leader in medical technology.
Terumo (TSE: 4543) is a global leader in medical technology and has been committed to “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” for 100 years. Based in Tokyo and operating globally, Terumo employs more than 28,000 associates worldwide to provide innovative medical solutions in more than 160 countries and regions. The company started as a Japanese thermometer manufacturer, and has been supporting healthcare ever since. Now, its extensive business portfolio ranges from vascular intervention and cardio-surgical solutions, blood transfusion and cell therapy technology, to medical products essential for daily clinical practice such as transfusion systems, diabetes care, and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Terumo will further strive to be of value to patients, medical professionals, and society at large.
Corporate Communication Dept., Terumo Corporation