Donors give from the heart at 21st annual blood drive

Valentine’s week tradition held once again at Landerhaven

By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

IMG_0801Love was in the air and flowing freely on Tuesday at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. Not because it was two days before Valentine’s Day. It was thanks to the generous residents of Northeast Ohio who donated 495 pints of blood during the Give from the Heart blood drive in Mayfield Heights.

The sentiment “give more love, give more life” aptly sums up the event and the donors’ acts of kindness. Their gift of blood will help save lives—and is especially timely during the current blood emergency.

The American Red Cross’ 21st annual Give from the Heart blood drive, sponsored this year by Executive Caterers, Cleveland Clinic and Lake Health, has been a tradition in Northeast Ohio for more than 20 years, collecting nearly 13,500 pints for local patients.

The premier event destination, which hosts elegant weddings and corporate affairs was bustling with a sea of red shirts worn by Red Cross Blood Services technicians assisting donors. WINT Radio 1130 AM and 101.5 FM fueled the energy of the event by playing music and engaging donors in trivia games.

Donors received buy-one-get-one ticket offers to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games. They were also treated to gourmet food and free gifts.

“We are so grateful to our donors,” said Christy Peters, external communications manager of the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio’s Blood Services division. “Their donations at the Give from the Heart blood drive will impact so many local patients and help us overcome the current blood emergency.”

IMG_6903

Regional CEO Mike Parks and Collections Specialist Tony Parrish-Figueroa

Mike Parks, CEO of the Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region, Nick McCauley, Greater Cleveland Chapter board member, and a number of the Red Cross Young Professionals Council shared in the giving spirit by donating blood alongside area residents.

Nick Mc

Greater Cleveland Chapter Board member Nick McCauley

 

 

 

Janice Tanori, a 78-year-old from Cleveland Heights, was among the donors. As a teenager, she tried to donate blood but couldn’t when she found out she was anemic. Years later, as an adult working at Gould Ocean Systems in Cleveland, she volunteered to donate at a company-sponsored blood drive, fully expecting to be turned away but hoping to spend some time away from work. Instead, she learned she was eligible.

IMG_6900

Janice Tanori

“It doesn’t pay to try to get out of work,” she said. “But once I was able to donate, I began to give regularly and have ever since.” That was more than 30 years ago. Janice now donates blood twice each year.

The Give from the Heart blood drive is a unique special event and was successful in helping to restore the lifesaving blood supply.

There are many scheduled blood drives aimed at helping the blood supply recover from a donation shortfall over the winter holidays that prompted the Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors.

Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and type O blood donors, are needed to prevent the blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and impacting patient care.

So what is a blood emergency and why is donating blood so important? Here are some facts:

  • Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. The goal is to keep a five-day supply on hand at all times to meet the needs of patients and be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood products.
  • Snow storms and frigid weather in parts of the country have prolonged the shortfall in donations. Since the beginning of the year, more than 16,000 blood and platelet donations went uncollected due to blood drive cancellations.
  • With more winter weather possible in February, additional blood drive cancellations could further strain the blood supply.
  • The recent federal government shutdown also affected donations as more than 4 percent of Red Cross blood collections come from drives sponsored by military and local, state and federal government agencies. About 30 blood drives were canceled across the country due to the government shutdown, resulting in more than 900 uncollected donations.
  • Blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors. Therefore, any disruptions to donations–from declines due to holiday travel to severe weather and even widespread flu–can lead to an emergency need and cause delays in essential medical care.

You can help. To find a blood drive near you and make an appointment, visit our website or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

 

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster response report: February 8-10, 2019

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

February 11, 2019-  While individuals across Northeast Ohio were out running around to make last minute plans for Valentine’s Day, the American Red Cross was fighting another weekend of frigid temperatures to show love to residents during their darkest moments following a local disaster.

During the weekend of February 8-10, the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responded to 11 incidents in Akron, Ashtabula, Cleveland, Eastlake, Euclid, Leavittsburg, Mansfield, Sandusky, Streetsboro and Warren. The disaster team assisted 38 individuals and provided more than $8,500 in immediate financial assistance.

One of the incidents the NEO Red Cross responded to was a home fire in Euclid, which caused an estimated $80,000 in damages.

2019 Euclid fire response

“I am truly amazed at the selflessness of all of our volunteers, while everyone else is spending time with their families, going to events and getting ready for the week ahead, our volunteers are answering the call,” said Ben Bellucci, the disaster program manager for the Greater Cleveland Chapter, who responded to the call and took the photo above showing the significant damage from the fire.

Ben added, “It takes an amazing person to get up in the middle of the night, go to a neighborhood they have never been, walk up to complete strangers, and be the light in their darkest hours. Being able to see a client who has despair in their eyes, and the questions of “what is next?” to speaking with a client that has been touched by the Red Cross, either through case work, community partners and or just a hug, reminds me why I love this job and why I love working with the volunteers.”

The majority of local disasters that the Red Cross responds to in Northeast Ohio are home fires. Every 24 hours, the Red Cross responds to three home fires on average. To learn how you can protect your family from home fires and to request a free smoke alarm installation, visit soundthealarm.org/neo.

If you are interested in making an impact in your local community, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact our Volunteer Services Department directly at 216-431-3328 or NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.

 

Wanted: Health professionals to help those in need

February 8, 2019- The American Red Cross relies on more than 20,000 nurses and other health professionals who bring our mission to life each day. If you’re a nurse, nursing student or other health professional, we need your help! There are volunteer opportunities in direct service, leadership and behind-the-scenes.  A few examples are:

  • Disaster Health Services –team members and leaders
  • Disaster Mental Health Services –team members and leaders
  • Pillowcase Project Instructor (educating 3rd-5th graders about disasters)
  • Blood Donor Ambassador Leader
  • Nursing Network Regional Nurse Leaders and team members
  • Service to the Armed Forces Hero Care Case Management

We hope that you consider volunteering with the Red Cross – you can have a meaningful impact by serving individuals and communities.

 

 

To apply or for more information, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact Melanie Collins at 330-204-6615 or melanie.collins4@redcross.org.

 

CPR: Easy to learn and could save a life

By Doug Bardwell , American Red Cross volunteer

February 6, 2019- The American Red Cross is well-known for the lifesaving training it makes available across the country. Classes are available for adult, child and infant CPR, First Aid and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Special classes are also offered for health/rescue workers, child care, babysitters and lifeguards.

If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, Hands-Only CPR is the recommended form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It not only increases the likelihood of surviving breathing and cardiac emergencies that occur outside of medical settings, but it’s simple to learn and easy to remember.

Icon PreparednessTo make learning easier, one year ago, the Red Cross introduced new CPR manikins affectionately called Big Red. The manikins help students get immediate feedback if they are performing the CPR technique correctly.

“Good CPR is a skill that almost anyone can do, but using the correct technique can be the difference between life and death for a person in cardiac arrest,” said Richard N. Bradley, M.D., FACEP, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and chair of its Resuscitation Sub-Council. “The unique technology in the Big Red manikin enhances an amazing tool to improve students’ ability to learn the right way to provide lifesaving assistance.”

Anyone can master the technique

Before performing CPR, remember these few important steps:

  1. Look around and make sure the scene is safe for yourself and the victim.
  2. Tap the person on the shoulder and shout “Are you okay?” Look for signs of rhythmic, normal breathing.
  3. If none, call or have someone call 911, and then begin CPR.

Performing Hands-Only CPR:

  1. Kneel beside the person who needs help.
  2. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
  3. Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, then lace your fingers together.
  4. Position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hand and keep your arms straight.
  5. Push hard, push fast. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. (Just be sure to let the victim’s chest rise completely between compressions.)
  6. Keep pushing. Continue Hands-Only CPR until you see obvious signs of life (like breathing), another trained responder or EMS professional can take over, you’re too exhausted to continue, an AED becomes available, or the scene becomes unsafe.

This short video will give you the proper technique:

Yes, anyone can do it.

cpr tweet

In a recent Washington Post article, the writer tells the story of Cross Scott, a mechanic, who encountered a woman who had stopped breathing. He decided to administer CPR while waiting for the rescue squad to arrive. Having never taken a CPR course, he did recall watching  Michael Scott learning how to do CPR on an episode of “The Office.”  Within a minute, the woman began to breathe again.

You can watch the humorous, but lifesaving TV clip here:

 

Find a class and sign up today

To be a genuine asset to family, friends and your neighbors, consider signing up for a Red Cross class. With multiple opportunities each week, it’s easy to find one near you at a convenient time.

Classes can be done online, in person or a blended class using both online and in-person sessions. By taking part of the instruction online, you’ll spend less time in class, but have the advantage of reviewing anything that may have been unclear in the online materials.

Red Cross volunteers can get a voucher to cover the cost of the course. Inquire at your local chapter office.

 

How to do Hands-Only CPR

https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/performing-cpr/hands-only-cpr

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/hands-only-cpr   video

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/cpr-training  take a class: online, in person, blended

Hands-Only CPR page

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/hands-only-cpr.html

 

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster response report: February 1-3, 2019

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

February 4, 2019 – While many across Northeast Ohio were making last minute preparations to enjoy a Sunday filled with snacks and the Super Bowl, the American Red Cross was out assisting residents who just suffered a local disaster.

During the weekend of February 1-3, Red Cross of Northeast Ohio disaster action team members responded to 14 incidents and at least one disaster in each of the five chapters that make up the region. The team assisted 43 adults, 17 children and provided $14,650 in immediate financial assistance.

IMG_1758One of the incidents the disaster team responded to was a multiple family home fire in Ravenna on Friday, when the temperatures in Northeast Ohio where still below freezing.

“We were incredibly fortunate and thankful that the manager of the Ravenna 7 Movie theater opened his doors and allowed us the use of one of his theaters to get the residents out of the cold and allowed us to interview them. And they even provided popcorn and drinks to everyone!,” said Debbie Chitester, disaster program manager for the Summit, Portage, and Medina Chapter, who responded to the incident.

Debbie added, “The team of volunteers were able to assist the residents of the nine units with direct client assistance quickly.  At the exact same time as that fire, we had another team in Medina responding to a single-family home fire. It only highlights that our volunteers are the true face of the Red Cross and without their support we would not be able to do all the great work we do to support the residents of Northeast Ohio”

The Red Cross of Northeast Ohio also provided a canteen in Cleveland on Sunday IMG_4123during an industrial fire, where snacks and beverages were handed out to support approximately 30 first responders.

If you are interested in making an impact in your local community, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact our Volunteer Services Department directly at 216-431-3328 or NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.

If you would like to provide a financial donation to assist the Red Cross’ efforts to support the residents of Northeast Ohio, visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Northeast Ohio residents impact Red Cross policy

Serve on the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council

By Brad Galvan, American Red Cross volunteer. 

February 1, 2019 – According to the American Red Cross, CPR chest compressions should be at least two inches deep and at a rate of at least 100 times per minute. That guideline isn’t just a suggestion, a hunch or a guesstimate; that guideline was developed and agreed upon by the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. The American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council is comprised of doctors, scientists, medical professionals and industry experts from across the country who provide insight and information on natural disaster scenarios, health-related data and more.

scentific committee

The body compiles, reviews and incorporates the latest science into the standards and regulations. Their recommendations have been woven into the expert training for medical professionals, first responders and citizens for 20 years.

The 50-plus member committee is comprised of five sub-councils:

  • Aquatics
  • Resuscitation
  • First Aid
  • Preparedness and Disaster Health
  • Education

The sub-councils meet continuously to debate and discuss the evidence to decide how, if at all, the organization should change their guidelines and Red Cross safety training materials.

We have two local members of this prestigious national council.

Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, Ph.D., MPH, WEMT-B/FF, EMS-I, is the Education Sub-Council Chair and is a professor and Program Director of Health Sciences, at Aultman College in Canton, Ohio. His sub-council identifies effective methods for teaching the skills and procedures of Red Cross courses to individuals, corporations,and professionals. When reflecting on the rewarding work of his sub-council, he said, “To work with communities to effectively change peoples’ behaviors is something that I am proud of.”

Another local council member, Brian Miller, M.S., MS.Ed. CHES, is a Health Education Specialist also with Aultman College. He said that he loves that the council is “focused on making a difference.”

To sum it up, getting the statistics and data then converting it into tangible, understandable best practices and putting them into the hands of Americans to help others is what this council is all about.

 

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer.

NEO Red Cross responds to local emergencies despite dangerous temps

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

January 31, 2019 – Over the past 24 hours, despite subzero temperatures across the region, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio was active responding to local emergencies.

Not even frigid temperatures could slow the Red Cross down when it comes to helping those in need.  

Beginning in the morning of January 30, through the early morning hours of January 31, Red Cross disaster teams responded to 13 incidents in Akron, Alliance Ashtabula, Canton, Cleveland, Elyria, Mansfield, Plymouth, Rome, Salem, Sandusky, Tremont and Woodmere.  Disaster workers assisted nearly 50 residents and provided more than $12,000 in immediate financial assistance.

The photos above were taken by Lora Taylor, the disaster program manager for the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter, who responded to a home fire in Sandusky. While the weather in the photos may seem peaceful, Lora stated, “That sun can be very bitterly deceiving.” She added, “We have amazing volunteers, and as we do what we do, we could not do it without them.” Lora was joined by disaster volunteer Carol Grant during the home fire response.

Unfortunately, one of the incidents was a home fire in Akron, which resulted in the deaths of an adult and three children occupants. While we are saddened by this tragedy, the Red Cross will remain in contact with the victims’ family to offer aid, such as support from disaster mental health workers.

Beyond providing support to residents who suffered a local disaster, the Red Cross also established a canteen in Tremont to provide food and beverages to first responders and emergency crews battling a water main break overnight.

Ben Bellucci, the newest disaster program manager for the Greater Cleveland Chapter, responded to the water main break, his second disaster response as a member of the NEO Red Cross team. Regarding the importance of providing the canteen during the cold temperatures, Ben said, “By providing something warm to drink and a snack to keep the energy of the first responders up during a cold night is the reason why we loved supporting those that keep our community safe.”  He heaped praise on the volunteers who responded in temperatures nearing -25 with the wind chill factor.  “The disaster action team knew it was important to provide them with something of comfort. Our volunteers did an amazing job responding to this canteen request as well as providing services to multiple calls that were going on at the same time.”

If you would like to provide a financial donation to assist the Red Cross’ efforts to support the residents of Northeast Ohio in their time of need, visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

If you cannot provide financial assistance but you are interested in making an impact in local communities, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers. Visit redcross.org/volunteer or contact our Volunteer Services Department directly at 216-431-3328 or NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.