State Sen. Steve Huffman, an ER doctor behind Ohio’s Blood Donor Awareness Month, rolled up his sleeve Monday to kick off “Blood Donor Appreciation Days” at the Community Blood Center in Dayton.
Everyone who registers to donate through the end of January gets a “Counting on You in 2022″ long-sleeved T-shirt and a randomly drawn $10 gift card. Schedule an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call 937-461-3220.
Blood Donor Awareness Month comes during a time of low blood supply in the CBC region, and amid critical shortages in many parts of the country. The traditional challenges during wintertime are compounded by the continuing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBC stated in a release.
Huffman, a Tipp City Republican, is a longtime donor who introduced legislation in 2017 to create Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month, which was first observed in January 2019.
He made a double red cell donation Monday, and now has 81 lifetime donations.
“Blood donation in January is particularly important because of Blood Donor Awareness Month and very important now with the country in such high need,” said Huffman. “Because of COVID, a lot of people can’t get out and give blood. If you’re healthy and not taking any additional risk of COVID, it’s needed. It’s a simple way to help others in need.”
CBC is asking community members to commit in 2022 to donating at least twice.
Another challenge is to consider giving platelets, plasma or double red cells. All require use of an automated system and take a bit longer than the common whole blood donation.
Huffman is an ideal double red cell donor because his O-negative blood type is in high demand for trauma patients. He also is CMV-negative for the common cytomegalovirus, which is safer for treating infants, the CBC said.
“Being on a busy schedule I can give twice as much in about the same amount of time,” said Huffman. “I feel no different when giving singles or doubles but feel better that I can help twice as many people sitting down here one time. Especially because I’m O-negative and CMV-negative. I love the feeling when I get a message that my blood was used for a newborn child.”
Blood donation requirements
Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors also are asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh at least 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call 937-461-3220.
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