On the wrong side of the hospital room – a nurse becomes the patient

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

Kristin Palocko  had been engaged for a year and was looking forward to her first wedding dress fitting in 2017. Working the night shift as a critical care nurse, she was often tired, but suddenly she was more fatigued than normal.

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“That night, a doctor came into my room at the emergency department and told me that I have a bleeding disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP),” recalled Kristin.

With TTP, blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body. The clots can limit or prevent the oxygen-rich blood from reaching the various organs that need it.

The condition is extremely rare, affecting maybe only two people in a million. “We barely touched on it in nursing school…it’s that rare. Luckily, with so many great hospitals in our area, it’s no longer fatal.”

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Prior to the 1980s, the disease was 97 percent fatal. Now with early detection and with plasma exchange, it’s considered very treatable. Treatment can last days or even months.

“This started me on a roller coaster of a 12-day hospital stay, a central dialysis line in my neck, and multiple units of red blood cells and plasma.” Kristin received 330 units of plasma, taking four hours each for 10 of those 12 days.

“It was an eye-opening experience being on the receiving end of treatment and being on the other side of the monitors. As a nurse, I realize the value of each unit of blood. It’s like liquid gold for our patients.”

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With three months medical leave, routine doctor’s appointments, countless blood draws and continual prayers, Kristin’s condition is still stable today. TTP could come back at any time, but some people have gone 17 years without a relapse.

“Less than six months after diagnosis, I married my best friend, Brad. Ever since I’ve been diagnosed, he’s been a frequent blood donor.”

“Two years later, I am feeling blessed for everyone’s thoughts and prayers through it all—especially the blood donors. They have helped me, and numerous others, in our time of greatest need with their generous donations. Without those willing to give of their time (and blood) there would not be treatment for TTP.”

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Kristin goes to Cuyahoga Valley Church and recently saw the sign there that volunteers were needed for an upcoming American Red Cross blood drive.

“After all that plasma I used during my treatment, I felt guilty, and I realized I needed to do something to give back. So, between shifts I went to the church during the blood drive and I volunteered.”

If you’d like to volunteer at a blood drive, we would love to have you. Volunteers are invaluable to the daily operation of the Northeast Ohio Region of the American Red Cross and are truly the heart and soul of the organization. Click here to register as a volunteer or sign up here to become a donor.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Give blood: Help patients in need this summer

July 12, 2019- With the weather in Northeast Ohio heating up and families away enjoying vacations,  there are fewer blood drives being held. This creates a difficult situation for the blood supply, and the American Red Cross is facing an emergency need for blood and platelet donors after a significant shortfall in blood donations during the Independence Day holiday week and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.

Following the Fourth of July week, about 450 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups than during a typical week as people across the country celebrated the holiday with activities and travel. This led to about 17,000 fewer blood donations than needed for patients in a single week, causing the Red Cross to now have less than a three-day supply of most blood types available – and less than a two-day supply of type O blood – for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

give now

Eligible individuals are urged to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer.

Don’t wait – help now:

  1. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
  2. Let your friends and family know there is a #BloodEmergency and ask them to give now.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.

Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S., and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood. It’s crucial that the Red Cross has a sufficient blood supply on hand to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products

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Upcoming Northeast Ohio blood donation opportunities:

To help with the blood supply crisis, all across the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio region, there are blood donation opportunities, ensuring there is a blood drive near you:

Ashtabula County:

Andover

7/16/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Andover Christian Church, 200 Stillman Ave

7/20/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Andover United Methodist Church, 181 South Main Street

Ashtabula

7/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Community Counseling Center, 2801 C Court

7/23/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kent State University, 3300 Lake Rd. West

7/25/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Ashtabula County Medical Center, 2420 Lake Ave.

7/31/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., YMCA, 263 W. Prospect

Conneaut

7/24/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 876 Grove St.

Geneva

7/21/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Peoples Church, 300 South Ridge East

7/22/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Assumption Church, 594 West Main Street

Jefferson

7/18/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Ashtabula Cnty Commissioners, 25 West Jefferson Street

7/19/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Jefferson Church of the Nazarene, 55 E. Satin Street

Cuyahoga County:

Beachwood

7/19/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Beachwood Community Center, 25451 Fairmount Blvd

7/20/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Beachwood Public Library, 25501 Shaker Blvd.

7/23/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus, 25875 Science Park Drive, Building 1

7/23/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Cleveland Clinic, 26900 Cedar Road

Berea

7/27/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Berea Recreation Center, 451 Front St

Brecksville

7/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Brecksville Community Center, One Community Drive

Chagrin Falls

7/16/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 20 South Franklin Street

Cleveland

7/13/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/14/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/14/2019: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., St Leo The Great Church, 4940 Broadview Road

7/15/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/16/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lutheran Hospital, 1730 West 25th Street

7/16/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/17/2019: 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

7/17/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dave’s Market MidTown, 1929 East 61st street

7/17/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

7/17/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/18/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/19/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/19/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Fairview Hospital, 18101 Lorain Ave.

7/20/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/21/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/21/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Our Lady of Angels Church, 3644 Rocky River Drive

7/21/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., University Circle United Methodist Church, University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 East 107th

7/22/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/23/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, 9500 Euclid Ave.

7/23/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/24/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way

7/24/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/25/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/26/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/26/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cuyahoga County Administration Building, 2079 E. 9th Street, 4th Floor

7/27/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/27/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Omega Psi Phi, 15435 St. Clair

7/28/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/29/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/29/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus, 2900 Community College Ave.

7/30/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., LifeBanc, 4775 Richmond Road

7/30/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

7/31/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., One Cleveland Center, 1375 E.9th St., Building Management

7/31/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Carl B Stokes Court House, 801 West Superior Ave

7/31/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Galleria Erieview Plaza, 1301 East 9th Street

7/31/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Frank J Lausche State Office Building, 615 Superior Avenue N.W.

7/31/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Warzel Blood Donation Center, 3747 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland Heights

7/15/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Hts Library, 2345 Lee Road

7/31/2019: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.

Fairview Park

7/24/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fairview Recreation Center, 21225 Lorain Road

Garfield Heights

7/22/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Garfield Hts Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road

Highland Hills

7/25/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Metropolitan Plaza, 22901 Millcreek Boulevard

Independence

7/23/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Park Center Building I, 6100 Oak Tree Blvd

7/29/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Independence Community Center, 6363 Selig Drive

Lakewood

7/19/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., O’Neill Healthcare- Lakewood, 1381 Bunts Rd.

7/22/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lakewood Womens Club Pavilion, 14532 Lake Ave.

7/29/2019: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Lakewood YMCA, 16915 Detroit Rd.

Mayfield Heights

7/16/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Hillcrest Hospital, 6780 Mayfield Road

Mayfield Village

7/17/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd.

7/25/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 700 Beta Drive

North Olmsted

7/19/2019: 10:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., North Olmsted Community Cabin, 28114 Lorain Rd.

North Royalton

7/30/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library North Royalton Branch, 5071 Wallings Rd

Olmsted Falls

7/25/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Olmsted Falls Branch, 8100 Mapleway Dr

Parma

7/13/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/14/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/15/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/16/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/17/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/17/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Parma-Snow, 2121 Snow Road

7/18/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/19/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/20/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/21/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/22/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/23/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/24/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/25/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/26/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/27/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/28/2019: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/29/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/30/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cuyahoga Community College West Campus, 11000 Pleasant Valley Rd

7/30/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

7/31/2019: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Parma Blood Donation Center, 5585 Pearl Road

Rocky River

7/21/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Christopher Catholic Church, 20141 Detroit Rd

Seven Hills

7/26/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Seven Hills Cmnty Rec Center, 7777 Summitview Drive

Solon

7/16/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Signature of Solon, 39000 Signature Drive

7/30/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Solon, 29800 Bainbridge Road

7/30/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Church of the Resurrection, 32001 Cannon Road

Strongsville

7/16/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Strongsville, 16761 Southpark Center

7/26/2019: 10:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Strongsville Branch, 18700 Westwood Dr

7/27/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ehrnfelt Recreation Center, 18100 Royalton Rd

Valley View

7/16/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Valley View Community Center, 6828 Hathaway Road

Westlake

7/21/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 28455 Center Ridge Road

7/22/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd.

Erie County:

Huron

7/17/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Peter Catholic Church, 430 Main St.

7/25/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Huron Public Library, 333 Williams St.

Sandusky

7/17/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Kroger Marketplace, 226 E Perkins Ave

7/25/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Holy Angels Catholic Church, 428 Tiffin Ave

7/26/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1912 Hayes Ave Sandusky

7/27/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sandusky Mall, Rt. 250 Milan Rd.

7/30/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion, 3615 Hayes Ave

Vermilion

7/22/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ritter Public Library, 5680 Liberty Ave.

7/23/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Vermilion High School, 1250 Sanford Street

Geauga County:

Burton

7/13/2019: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Joes Vinyl Window Shop, 15020 Shedd Road

Chagrin Falls

7/20/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., RiPT Fitness, 8464 E. Washington St.

Chardon

7/14/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Church of Saint Mary, 401 North St.

7/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Munson Town Hall, 12210  Auburn Rd.

Chesterland

7/16/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Geauga West Library, 13455 Chillicothe Rd.

Huron County:

Greenwich

7/30/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., The Ripley Church, 4130 Edwards Road

Norwalk

7/15/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 60 West Main St.

7/26/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Fisher-Titus Medical Center, 272 Benedict Ave.

Plymouth

7/18/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Plymouth Village Community Building, 48 West Broadway

Willard

7/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Francis Xavier School, 25 West Perry St.

Lake County:

Eastlake

7/24/2019: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Lake County Captains, 35300 Vine Street

7/26/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Four Points by Sheraton, 35000 Curtis Blvd

Kirtland

7/29/2019: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Kirtland Public Library, 9267 Chillicothe Rd.

Madison

7/15/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Cornerstone Friends Church, 2300 Hubbard Rd.

Mentor

7/14/2019: 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Gabriel Church, 9925 Johnnycake Ridge Rd.

7/15/2019: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mentor Civic Arena, 8600 Munson Rd.

7/26/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Lowes of Mentor, 9600 Mentor Ave.

7/26/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hope Ridge United Methodist Church, 9870 Johnnycake Ridge Rd.

7/29/2019: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Pinegate Community Clubhouse, 6301 Gatewood Dr.

Painesville

7/15/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Church Congregational, 22 Liberty St.

7/31/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., 1922 Coffee & Brew, 1505 Madison Ave

Perry

7/16/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Perry United Methodist Church, 3875 Main St.

Willoughby

7/25/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Willoughby Library, 30 Public Square

Willoughby Hills

7/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Willoughby Hills Community Center, 35400 Chardon Rd.

Willowick

7/19/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Willowick Community Center, 321 East 314th Street

Lorain County:

Avon

7/15/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., French Creek Family YMCA, 2010 Recreation Lane

7/24/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., VFW hall, 36950 Mills Rd

7/29/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Costco Avon, 35804 Detroit Road

Columbia Station

7/14/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Christ Church, 23080 Royalton Rd.

Elyria

7/31/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Am Red Cross Lorain County, 2929 West River Road North

Wellington

7/24/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Penfield Township Community Center, 41012 State Route 18

Please make an appointment to give now.

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day highlights need to fill Missing Types

By Glinda Dames Fincher

June 16, 2019- My name is Glinda Dames Fincher and I have lived with sickle cell disease for 60 years. Today is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

Sickle cell disease affects red blood cells. It makes them hard and sickle shaped instead of soft and round. As a result, blood has difficulty flowing smoothly through the blood vessels and carrying oxygen to the rest of the body.  This causes severe anemia and excruciating pain called sickle cell crisis.

Because of my illness, I depend on blood donors giving blood on a regular basis. As part of my treatment, I receive monthly red cell exchange transfusions. I receive two pints of red blood cells during each of these transfusions. If I have to undergo a major surgery, I receive a total exchange transfusion, which requires about seven to nine units of red cells. I have received regular blood transfusions for the last 20 years to help manage my sickle cell disease. Without donated blood, sickle cell patients face sickle cell crisis, and other complications such as strokes, organ failure, chronic wounds, and shortened lifespan.

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Glinda Dames Fincher speaks at the the Missing Types campaign kick-off at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

Since most of those with sickle cell in the U.S. are of African and Latino descent, those who receive frequent blood transfusions need blood from those of their same race in order to decrease the chances of the patient having a reaction to the red cells. African American and Latino blood donors are greatly needed to provide the lifesaving transfusions needed not only by those with sickle cell, but also those with other diseases such as cancer, kidney failure and other chronic disorders.”

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I encourage everyone to help fill the Missing Types this summer. Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the US and the world, with about 100,000 with the disease in the US, and an estimated 10 million with the disease worldwide and 100 million carriers of the sickle gene which they may pass on to their children. More blood donors are needed now. Join the American Red Cross and give blood to ensure patients like myself, and so many others, have the lifesaving treatment we need.

Do your part to help fill the missing types this summer and help save lives by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/MissingTypes to schedule a donation appointment today.

N_tice _nything missing? Help the Red Cross fill the Missing Types

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

June 13, 2019- When the letters A, B and O vanish from everyday life, the gaps are striking. And when A, B, O and AB blood types are missing from hospital shelves, lives could be changed forever.

MT 2019_InfographicOn June 11 the American Red Cross partnered with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to launch the Missing Types campaign to raise awareness of the need for new and current blood donors to donate and help ensure blood is available for patients in need this summer. The O’s in Long Live Rock disappeared during the launch, to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring the main blood groups – A, B and O, are available whenever and wherever needed.

A sad truth is only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood each year, but every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. If more people roll up a sleeve to give, blood shortages can be prevented.

Why blood donors are needed

Tymia McCullough relies on blood donations to help battle sickle cell disease, an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape. Sickle cell disease patients can suffer a range of conditions, including acute anemia, tissue and organ damage, terrible pain and even strokes.

With no widely used cure, regular blood transfusions are one of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease. At one time, when McCullough arrived at the hospital, the blood type she needed for her transfusion was not available.

“It was the scariest, most frightening moment of a mother’s life, because I thought that she would not be able to get it,” said Susie Pitts, Tymia’s mother. “In that moment, in that experience, I was very afraid. I was scared for my daughter’s life ─ what was going to happen if she didn’t get the blood she needed?”

Eight hours later, the nurse came running through the door with the needed blood product.

Again, this past fall Tymia experienced a painful sickle cell crisis and needed to wait 10 long hours for the hospital to locate the blood she needed for her treatment. Thankfully, Tymia is better today, yet her experience illustrates the ongoing need for blood, and at times, the frightening reality patients face when needed blood supplies become critically low.

Make a difference today

  • Spread the word
  • Write out your name with the A’s, B’s and O’s missing on the “blank” selfie sign, and take a photo with it. (Underscores are recommended. Example: _meric_n Red Cr_ss. Basic directions are also posted at the previous link for your convenience.)
  • Visit RedCrossBlood.org to share a Missing Types message on your social media.

Commit about an hour of your day to give blood and help save a life. Patients need you.

Six things to know before donating:

  1. You don’t need to know your blood type.
    According to a national survey conducted earlier this year on behalf of the Red Cross, more than half (54%) of people believe they need to know their blood type to donate blood. This is simply untrue.
  2. Hydrate – drink an extra 16 oz. of liquid before and after donating.
  3. Enjoy a healthy meal rich in iron and vitamin C before donating – avoid foods high in fat just prior to donation.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
  5. Complete a RapidPass on the day of donation, prior to arriving, to save time.
  6. Remember to bring an ID.

Help fill in the missing types this summer. Schedule a donation appointment now.

Click here to visit out Flickr account to view photos from the Missing Type kick-off event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Our thanks to Joann Fabric and Craft Stores for providing the material used to cover the letter “O” in the Long Live Rock sculpture.

This article was edited by Glenda Bogar,  American Red Cross volunteer

Help now: Type O blood shortage

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

Spring is a busy time of year for many people, but the need for blood and platelets doesn’t let up. Last month, more than 11,500 fewer donations were collected than needed as spring break schedules and end of the school year activities contributed to a low turnout of blood donors. As a result, the American Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors to give now to ensure blood is available for patients in need of lifesaving treatments or facing traumas.

Type O_Critical need

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available for emergency rooms – where it can be most critical. Type O donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in. Type O blood is the most needed blood group by hospitals but is often in short supply. Here in the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, approximately 500 pints of blood are needed every day to help meet patient needs. The Region serves more than 50 hospitals who depend on the Red Cross for a strong, local blood supply.

Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee 2019

All eligible donors – especially type O donors – are urged to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible. In thanks for helping meet patient needs, those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross May 1-June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Don’t wait – help now!

  1. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can also give throughout northeast Ohio at the Red Cross donation centers in Parma, Akron and Cleveland.
  2. Let your friends and family know there is a type O #BloodShortage and ask them to give now.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.

Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Make an appointment to give now.

Wrapped in Red Gala honors generosity of donors

J.M. Smucker Company recognized for humanitarian efforts

 

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

May 3, 2019- Celebration will be in the air on Saturday, May 11 at The Global Center for Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018Health Innovation. The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio will be hosting the Wrapped in Red Gala.

The Wrapped in Red Gala is a special “thank you” celebration recognizing the generosity of local organizations that have been instrumental in helping with the cost of a new bloodmobile for the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio.

The Red Cross relies on bloodmobiles to fulfill its mission to collect and deliver lifesaving blood. To make giving blood as convenient as possible, bloodmobiles—specially fitted buses containing equipment, beds and supplies—are vital to reaching today’s busy donors near their homes, workplaces, schools and other community-based locations.

Unfortunately, the current fleet of bloodmobiles is aging. The newest of the three regional bloodmobiles is 8-years-old, just two years from its recommended replacement at 10 years.

Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018A new state-of-the-art bloodmobile measures 40-feet long and 8.5 feet wide and includes three health history booths where donors’ eligibility screenings are conducted, as well as up to five beds where blood is drawn.

Along with celebrating of the local community in helping the Red Cross collect much need blood to help save lives, the Wrapped in Red Gala will honor one of the region’s premier philanthropic companies.

The J.M. Smucker Company will be presented with the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Executive Chairman Richard Smucker will be accepting the award on behalf of the company. The award will be presented by Beth Mooney, the chairman and CEO of KeyCorp, and a previous recipient of the Humanitarian Award.

KeyBank is the presenting sponsor of the Wrapped in Red Gala.

2017 American Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball

Beth Mooney accepting the Steve D. Bullock Humanitarian of the Year Award

A leading Northeast Ohio business for more than 120 years, Smucker has always operated with the philosophy that being a successful business and a responsible one is not mutually exclusive. The company believes that success is only possible by ensuring those who support and are impacted by its business thrive along with it. In that spirit, Smucker supports a wide range of organizations nationally, including the American Red Cross, Feeding America, Rescue Bank, and the United Way, among others.

The company also has several local partners, including the American Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter, Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, the Akron Canton Foodbank, Akron Children’s Hospital, and the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Following the award presentation, the Red Cross of Greater Cleveland Young Professionals Council will sponsor an after-party, which will include entertainment and dancing.

To schedule a blood donation appointment and to find a blood drive near you, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Premier Partner Program & sponsors

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Blood Region

March 25, 2019- Recently, the American Red Cross presented Kalahari Resorts & Conventions with its Premier Blood Drive Partner award. The Premier Partner program recognizes blood drive sponsors who have collected at least 50 pints in a year. Last year, Kalahari collected 115 pints of lifesaving blood for local patients.

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Kalahari Resorts & Conventions recently received the Premier Blood Drive Partner Award earlier this year. L to R: Angie Reyes, HR Director, Iryna Pylypenko, Employment Manager, Mary Ann Benton, Brian Shanle, General Manager

More than 80 percent of blood donations are made at blood drives organized by volunteer sponsor groups and coordinators. Right now, blood drive hosts are needed for spring and throughout the year. A blood drive is a commitment to help meet the needs of seriously ill or injured patients. Blood products are essential for the treatment of accident victims, surgical and sickle cell disease patients, those receiving cancer treatments, premature babies and others.

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James Lassiter III of Garfield Heights donated blood at a recent Kalahari hosted blood drive in February

Every single day, the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region needs to collect 500 pints of blood to meet the needs of patients at more than 50 local hospitals. This cannot happen without the support of blood drive sponsors. Become a blood drive sponsor and help save lives! To learn more about hosting a blood drive, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/hosting-a-blood-drive/learn-about-hosting/why-host-a-blood-drive.html or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).