Blood donor Jake Stone at the CBC’s recent John Kalaman blood drive. CONTRIBUTED

Blood donations urged with more surgeries, summer approaching

As hospitals start to perform more surgeries and summers months approach when more accidents occur, the local blood center is preparing for an increase in demand for blood donations.

Community Blood Center announced it is holding the Donor Strong Blood Drive 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Dayton Community Blood Center Donor Center, 349 S. Main St.

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The coronavirus outbreak has led to widespread cancelling of many of the drives that traditionally keep the blood center stocked, leaving the center constantly encouraging people to set up appointments and come down to the center to donate.

This has been a challenge across the U.S. since the start of the outbreak. The Red Cross at the end of March estimated they had 86,000 fewer blood donations over the few weeks prior because of drives cancelled at workplaces, colleges and other locations.

Starting May 1, area hospitals started to resume surgeries that had been postponed to preserve protective supplies like masks and gowns. This resuming of procedures means more blood donations will be used.

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“You could look at the month of April with 80% of our blood drives cancelled. That was not sustainable in a different environment, but with the hospitals just treading water, we kept the status quo,” Mark Pompilio, Community Blood Center marketing manager, said. “So now we’re looking at the fact that things are creeping back up to normal usage. We have to follow suit.”

The blood center is preparing for not only the resuming of more surgeries but also the traditional increase in demand for blood donations during the summer months. There are still unknowns, like whether more people staying at home will mean this summer will have fewer summer car crashes and other injuries that drive up need for blood donations in the summer.

“We have to assume that summer use will increase because it always has in the past,” Pompilio said.

Pompilio said their inventory of blood donations isn’t currently in a dire position and it helps they were able to bank donations while fewer procedures were happening in the weeks prior, but since collections are slow they have to make make sure they use the time they have to stay prepared.

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CBC safeguards against COVID-19 transmission include checking the temperature of donors before entering a blood drive, mandating face masks, and requiring donors to make appointments. If all appointments to a blood drive are filled, donors are asked to please schedule on a different day.

Everyone who registers to donate May 4 through Oct. 31 is automatically entered in a drawing for a Sleep Number bed.

Donors must make an appointment at DonorTime.com or by calling (937) 461-3220. All donors at CBC blood drives must wear a face mask.

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