MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Community Blood Center needs you now

Tom Schaefer of Dayton recently made his 118th lifetime blood donation. CONTRIBUTED

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Tom Schaefer of Dayton recently made his 118th lifetime blood donation. CONTRIBUTED

If you’re looking for a meaningful way to make a difference in 2022, consider giving blood. January is “Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month ‘’ and it arrives with the regional blood supply still burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Blood Center’s message is, “We’re counting on you in 2022.”

You’ve probably heard that communities nationwide are facing blood shortages due to the ongoing disruption of COVID-19. Type O collection has been a persistent challenge, especially during the holiday period.

“The dedication of our donors in 2021 was amazing,” said CBC Vice President for Donor Services Tracy Morgan. “We have felt the impact of the constant demand for type O. We have managed through it, but we can’t let up or we will be in a shortage.”

How we can help!

Did you know that CBC depends on volunteer donors to fill the needs of 25 partner hospitals in our 15-county region as well as to hospitals and blood centers outside the region?

According to public relations and marketing manager Mark Pompilio, most of the collections take place at community blood drives because donors like the convenience of being able to donate near their homes. That’s why approximately six drives a day are sponsored by churches, civic groups, schools, businesses, city and county government agencies, YMCA’s, community centers, and other organizations.

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Another option: donate at the Dayton CBC Donation Center at 349 S. Main St. in downtown Dayton. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Appointments are encouraged but donors can also walk in at any of the specified sites. Visit www.DonorTime.com to find the location and hours of blood drives near you and to schedule an appointment. You can also call (937) 461-3220.

Everyone who registers to donate with CBC receives a donor gift. From now through Feb. 26 you’ll receive a special-edition “Counting on You in 2022″ long-sleeve T-shirt.

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Doris Teegarden, a Dayton Police Department Parking Division “meter maid” stops in to donate blood. “I was due. I just know they needed more O-positive.” CONTRIBUTED

Doris Teegarden, a Dayton Police Department Parking Division “meter maid” stops in to donate blood. “I was due. I just know they needed more O-positive.” CONTRIBUTED

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Doris Teegarden, a Dayton Police Department Parking Division “meter maid” stops in to donate blood. “I was due. I just know they needed more O-positive.” CONTRIBUTED

Who can donate? How does it work?

Anyone who is in good health, age 17 or older (age 16 with a signed parental consent) and weighs a minimum of 110 pounds (possibly more depending on height) can donate blood. There is no upper age limit on donating.

Allow about an hour at the center. Plan to eat a healthy meal or snack at least 45 minutes before donating; don’t go with an empty stomach. Drink plenty of water.

You must have a photo ID. You’ll answer some basic questions and undergo a brief health screening that includes a check of temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin. After donating you’ll spend a short time in the Donor Café replenishing with fluids and a snack. After donating, avoid strenuous physical activity and any heavy lifting or pulling with the donation arm for about five hours after donation.

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To protect your health and to ensure a safe blood supply, you may be deferred from donating temporarily, and in some cases permanently. Common reasons for temporary deferments include low hemoglobin (the protein in your red blood cells that contains iron and transports oxygen), your current medications, recent travel, or other issues in your health history. For questions about eligibility call (937) 461-3220 or email CanIDonate@CBCCTS.org

How often can I donate?

You can give whole blood every 56 days (eight weeks), platelets up to 24 times per year, and plasma every 28 days up to 13 times per year.

Is it safe to give blood?

Yes! Each donor’s blood is collected through a sterile needle and tubing that is used once and discarded. You cannot contract any transmissible disease by donating blood.

What happens to my donation?

All donated blood is tested for blood type, various transmissible disease agents, and separated into components: red cells, platelets, or plasma. Blood products are delivered to area hospitals and typically reach a patient in need within 10 days. You may also receive a phone call telling you when and where your blood donation was used to help a patient in need.

This year’s challenge

“We’re challenging all eligible citizens to donate twice in 2022,” says Pompilio. “A quick way to donate twice is to make an automated double red blood cell donation. A double red cell donation is an automated donation. It uses a special machine to collect twice the normal number of red cells in one donation from a donor whose blood type is in high demand. People with blood types O, B-negative or A-negative are ideal for double red donations.

For more information about automated donations talk to a CBC specialist at (937) 461-3220

How to sponsor a blood drive

Another way to help CBC and support the regional blood supply is to sponsor a community blood drive. What you’ll need is a key volunteer willing to coordinate the drive, set a date and location, recruit volunteers, follow up with required forms.

“It is safe and easy to give blood,” says Pomplio. “It’s the blood on the shelf, provided by CBC donors, that saves lives. Many donors tell me they don’t have enough time to do volunteer work or they can’t afford to donate money to charity, but they find donating blood is their best chance to give back.”


MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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