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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

A call for blood: Red Cross issues plea for blood and platelet donations

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio
Photo credit: Jim McIntyre, Regional Communications Manager

The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and urgently needs blood and platelet donors to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

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Blood donor Michelle Polinko and Red Cross Collections Technician Willie Muse

Launching an appeal in November is unprecedented for the Red Cross, and everyone is needed to help replenish supplies as we head into a difficult holiday blood collection season.

During September and October, coupled with hurricanes Michael and Florence, the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals needed. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, due to it being a universal donor and for its ability to be used for all blood types, and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment to donate at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Additionally, more than 130 blood drives in Northeast Ohio are needed in December, January and February to help stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter. Donations often decline during the winter holidays when many groups postpone blood drives while regular donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. Severe winter weather may also cause blood drive cancellations contributing to fewer donations than needed.

Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate. However, less than 10 percent of those who are eligible actually donate. Time and time again, people state the reason they never considered donating blood was simply because they were never asked. Well Northeast Ohio, consider yourself asked!

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Red Cross blood donor Emily Probst

How to help:

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass, are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

IMG_6405For those in the Greater Cleveland Area interested in giving blood and donating platelets, the Red Cross has blood donation centers in Cleveland and Parma. The Warzel Blood Donation Center is located at the Regional Headquarters on 3747 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland and is open from 7 am to 3 pm on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 12 pm to 8 pm Tuesday to Thursday.

The Parma Donation Center is located on 5585 Pearl Avenue and is open from 12 pm to 8 pm Monday to Thursday and 7 am to 3 pm Friday to Sunday.

The Red Cross also has a donation center in our Akron office and a donation center in Mansfield.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this winter, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are thankful for the loyal donors who give the gift of life regularly. Here are some helpful facts as you prepare to take the next steps to donate today:

  • The average person has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his or her body.
  • There are 4 blood groups: A, B, AB and O.
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • Red cells, which contain hemoglobin, carry oxygen throughout the blood and give blood its red color, are used to treat trauma or surgery patients.
  • Platelets helps prevent massive blood loss by helping blood clot and is used to treat cancer patients, organ transplant patients and surgery patients.
  • You can donate blood every 56 days and you can donate platelets up to 24 times per year.
  • You must be at least 17 years old to donate. In Ohio, you can donate blood if you are 16 years old and have written parental consent.
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply
    for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • From beginning to end, the blood donation process takes about one hour and 15 minutes to donate blood and three hours to donate platelets.
  • The Red Cross does not charge for the blood itself, but does recoup the many costs associated with the donation process.
  • After you donate, you can enjoy juice and cookies in the refreshment area and think about the difference you’ve made!

Emergency Blood Shortage: Red Cross Issues Urgent Call for Blood Donors

An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to give now and help save lives.

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Photo Credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.

“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”

This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

 How to help

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Blood Donor Ken Krogulecki of Bay Village, Ohio

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

 

Who blood donations help

Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products for patients like 9-month-old Krew Anderson. Krew is a happy, laid-back baby boy. His wide grin frames two tiny teeth. He likes to play with balloons and just experienced his first boat ride and fireworks show, but Krew has faced more challenges in the last four months than many people will experience in a lifetime.

In March, Krew was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to produce a large number of abnormal blood cells. Since then, he has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and received 15 blood and platelet transfusions to date.

“The first time he got [a transfusion], I was just super nervous and didn’t know really what was happening,” said his mother, Stephanie Anderson. “Now, when he gets one, I’m like, ‘Yes, please, get him some blood to help him get more energy and back to normal.’”

Krew’s father, Richard Anderson, donated blood a couple of times a year prior to his son’s diagnosis, but after seeing Krew receive blood, he now plans to give as soon as he’s eligible again.

“For me, just knowing that if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I want to make sure there’s enough blood out there for everyone, and that there’s no shortage,” he said.

Stephanie Aholt of Strongsville also knows the value of donated blood.  It saved the life of her newborn son, Benjamin.  See and hear Stephanie’s story here.

Missing Types sees encouraging increase in new donors – all donors needed now

Facing a decline of about 80,000 new Red Cross blood donors each year for the past several years, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign in June to encourage new donors, and those who have not given recently, to donate blood. While the campaign has already inspired thousands of new donors to give, the Red Cross is now calling on all eligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible to overcome the emergency blood shortage.

Through the Missing Types campaign, which runs throughout the summer, the letters A, B and O – letters used to identify blood types – disappeared from corporate logos, celebrity social media accounts and favorite websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring blood is never missing from hospital shelves.

Give From the Heart Blood Drive at Landerhaven

The timing couldn’t be better.

The 19th annual American Red Cross Give from the Heart Blood Drive takes place on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at Landerhaven.  It is the largest one day blood drive in Ohio, and it comes at a time when an urgent appeal for blood has been issued due to a severe winter blood shortage.

Call 1-800 RED CROSS to schedule your appointment, or log onto redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code  Landerhaven, or click here to make an appointment.   You can also download the Red Cross Blood App to make your appointment. All donors will receive free gifts from the many sponsors participating, and can enjoy live entertainment and gourmet food offered by Executive Caterers.

Photos from the Give from the Heart Blood Drive at Landerhaven in 2016.
Photo credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross

Landerhaven is located at 6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights, OH, 44124.