Blood donations needed as summer starts

Gwen Eilerman gives blood on Tuesday at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. CONTRIBUTED
Gwen Eilerman gives blood on Tuesday at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. CONTRIBUTED

The need for blood donations is going up as summer gets underway. More outdoor activities means more related injuries. Violence typically increases in the warmer months and this year is so far no exception.

But with the number of blood drives still down and people heading out of town on vacation, there are challenges to getting enough supply.

Tracy Morgan, director of donor relations at Community Blood Center, said their inventory levels are at a critical level.

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“We’re supplying the hospitals that you or your neighbors or your friends will go to if they’re in an emergency,” Morgan said.

The Dayton Daily News has recently reported on a spate of recent shootings. Morgan noted that to treat people after traumas like a shooting, it takes a lot of blood donations.

The summer months are a historically hard time for keeping up with the need for blood donations. Car wrecks rise in the summer, seasonal accidents restart related to everything from lawn mowing to outdoor play, and shootings rise in warmer months. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.

At the same time, blood donations decrease when people head out on vacation or aren’t around school year blood drives.

“Coming off of Memorial Day weekend losing a day of collections, and losing people to vacations and other summer activities, has made our overall inventory levels low,” she said.

And Morgan said this year in particular the annual challenge has been exacerbated because many workplaces and schools either were remote or haven’t restarted typical onsite blood drives.

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All this has led the Community Blood Center to urge people to come out to donate or consider hosting a blood drive at their workplace.

“We need people to really step up to the plate and increase their frequency of donation,” she said.

The Miami Valley isn’t the only region to find itself in a bind with donations.

The Red Cross said this week it has an emergency need for eligible donors in the Louisville, Ky., and Evansville, Ind., area to help cancer patients.

Blood donations are used not just for traumas for for a huge range of medical treatment, including for cancer patients who have had platelet production reduced from chemotherapy. The Red Cross stated in their call for donations that about six blood products are needed every minute to help someone going through cancer treatment.

In Jacksonville, news reports urged blood donations to be prepared ahead of hurricane season.

Throughout the pandemic, keeping up enough donations has remained a challenge, with the Community Blood Center repeatedly putting out urgent calls to donate.

The Community Blood Center in a few weeks will be adding new technology to encourage more donations. Instead of a finger prick to check hemoglobin levels before donating, a new device can check levels from the surface level without needing to draw blood.

How to donate blood

People who wish to donate to the Community Blood Center can make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or by calling 937-461-3220.