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Back to school with goal of saving 150,000 lives in 2023-24 session

Carter BloodCare reports high school donors provide 25% of lifesaving blood supply

BEDFORD, TEXAS – High school students across North, Central and East Texas are set for a lifesaving lesson in the new academic year.

Texas-based Carter BloodCare has a goal of collecting 50,000 units of whole blood at 2023-24 high school blood drives. Each unit of whole blood — when separated into its three components of red blood cells, platelets and plasma — will potentially save the lives of three transfusion patients. That means student donors across 57 Texas counties served by Carter BloodCare could save 150,000 lives, more than the combined populations of Tyler and Texarkana. 

“Last year, we held 1,151 high school blood drives and collected 42,967 units of whole blood,” said Clinton McCoy, Carter BloodCare’s Director of Mobile Donor Recruitment and Regional Operations. “That made a difference for nearly 129,000 Texas patients who were waiting for those lifesaving components.”

Up to 25% of the community blood supply is collected through high school blood drives, he said.

And, while large-scale emergencies raise awareness, blood is required every day for medical procedures.

People receiving cancer treatments, children with anemia, severe trauma patients, mothers experiencing difficult childbirths, people undergoing open heart surgeries and organ transplants, and many others depend on blood being there when it’s needed.

Donors can begin giving blood at age 16 with parental consent; those 17 and older can donate independently.

In addition, prospective donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and feel well on the day of donation.

All blood types are needed, though O negative is often critical, with less than a full day’s supply on-hand. O negative is the universal blood type. It can be used to treat any patient, regardless of individual blood type. Also, O negative is the only blood type used to treat premature and unborn babies.

Carter BloodCare offers several student donor programs, including recognition for graduates, leadership initiatives and grants for participating schools.

“Donating blood is a generous, compassionate act that develops confident, action-oriented citizens and empathetic leaders,” McCoy said. “It’s an empowering way for our young leaders of tomorrow to support their communities today.”

For information on student programs, hosting blood drives, current incentives, donation locations and more, visit or call 800-366-2834.

About Carter BloodCare

Carter BloodCare is an independent, community blood center providing transfusion resources to more than 200 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of North, Central and East Texas. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 440,000 blood products annually to meet hospitals’ requirements for their patients. Services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products.
Tu centro de sangre comunitario.