Feeling good about giving blood again

“Time-out” ends for dedicated blood donor

By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer correspondent

January 27, 2020 – It feels so good to be lying on a portable couch again, a needle stuck in my arm, donating blood to the American Red Cross.

It’s been almost two years since I was allowed give this lifesaving gift and it feels really, really good.

Fun – if sobering – facts:

  • There is NO man-made substitute for human blood for accident and burn victims, surgery and organ transplant patients, and those being treated for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
  • Every day, the Red Cross needs about 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at some 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
  • Only about 3 percent of the American population donates blood.
  • Every year, too many blood donors “disappear.” Some die (the World War II and Korean War generations were especially faithful blood donors); some start taking medications that shouldn’t be transmitted to a blood recipient; others drift away for personal reasons.

And some get “furloughed,” like I did.

Eilene gives again

Eilene Guy giving blood again.  Photo credit: Don Guy for the American Red Cross

I’d been showing up at Red Cross blood drives pretty regularly for more than 15 years. I’m O positive, so my blood’s widely useful and I have “good veins,” so the phlebotomists love me.

But in March 2018 I took a family vacation to the Dominican Republic. The next time I showed up to give blood, I learned I was sidelined for one year, because the DR is a malaria risk zone. Nuts!

Then, in December 2018, I went to India. Even though I took anti-malaria medications, the one-year disqualification clock started again.

Like so many of the Red Cross blood collection protocols, this is mandated by the federal Food and Drug Administration, to protect the millions of people who receive blood.

This month I was finally cleared to donate again. And as I said, it felt really good.

In fact, donating felt even better than it did two years ago. The disinfectant they swab on the arm isn’t iodine anymore, so the “sting” of the needle is gone. Woo hoo!

“If every blood donor who has been temporarily deferred would come back at the end of their ‘time out,’ it would really help the blood supply,” said Christy Peters, regional biomedical communications manager. “Those folks have already shown that they’re generous with the gift of life. We want to welcome them back as soon as we can.”

The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. And this is National Blood Donor Month.

Next month, on February 11th, the largest blood drive of the year in Northeast Ohio takes place at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights.  Visit RedCrossBlood.org and use the promo code “Landerhaven” to make an appointment to donate there.  You can also find the date, time and location of your nearest Red Cross blood drive there.  Or can call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text BLOODAPP to 90999 or search “Red Cross Blood” on the App Store or Google Play to get the free Blood Donor App.

 

 

Alert: Critical need for blood and platelet donors

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Biomedical Services

January 15, 2019- The American Red Cross is asking the public to kick off 2020 by doing something big: Give blood or platelets now to address the critical need for blood donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors.

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A shortfall in donations can cause delays in care

The family of 12-year-old Dagan Hawkins, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November, knows this all too well. “While at the hospital, Dagan needed platelet and blood transfusions,” said Dustin Hawkins, Dagan’s father. “There was a time when platelets had to be delivered from another location because they were not available.”

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Dagan Hawkins

You can help restock the shelves

  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 critical need for blood and platelet donors and ask them to #GiveNow.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.

Your support can help ensure blood products are there for patients going through cancer treatments, trauma victims, premature babies and others who depend on transfusions for survival.

Be a champion for patients in need

Super Bowl Giveaway (1)

To help tackle the current critical need for blood and platelets, the Red Cross has teamed up with the NFL to offer one lucky winner the chance to experience the Super Bowl live in Miami. Those who come to give by Jan. 19, 2020, will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exciting Super Bowl LIV getaway for two. The Super Bowl LIV getaway package includes two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, two tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami and three-night hotel accommodations (Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2020), and a $500 gift card for expenses. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.

Don’t wait to help. Make your game plan to give now and help save lives.

If you are unable to give now, but will be eligible by February 11, sign up to donate during the annual Landerhaven blood drive on February 11, 2020. Enjoy gourmet food, live music and receive a free t-shirt, as you spread the love to someone in need.

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.

 

Emergency need: Donors urged to give blood and platelets now

January 16, 2019 – A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care. The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply, as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

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.

You can help!

  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 an emergency need for blood and platelet donors and ask them to #GiveNow.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.
  4. Host a blood drive so others can give – be it at your office location, place of worship or community organization.

Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for trauma victims, premature babies, patients going through cancer treatment and others who depend on transfusions for survival.

The hospitals that rely on blood and blood products collected by the Red Cross regularly hold blood drives of their own. One such hospital is the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Blood Donation 2018

From the days of Clara Barton and our founding, the Red Cross has had a strong relationship with members of the military, veterans and their families.  Every day, the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces provides 24/7 global emergency communication services and support in military and veteran health care facilities across the country and around the world. Furthermore, Susan Fuehrer, director of the Northeast Ohio VA healthcare system, also serves on the Red Cross’ Greater Cleveland board of directors.

On February 1 from 7 AM to 5 PM, the Cleveland VA Medical Center will be hosting a blood drive, which is open to the public.

Are you unable to donate on February 1st, but have space on your calendar on February 12th to give life? Well, you are in luck!  Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights will be hosting its annual blood drive, which is the largest in the region. The blood drive will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 6111 Landerhaven Drive from 7 AM-7 PM.

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Don’t wait to help. Give now.

Give more life this holiday season – give blood!

Community urged to help patients in need across Northeast Ohio

By Christy Peters, Manager, External Communications, American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services

The American Red Cross is encouraging the community to help meet patient needs this holiday season. The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses.

WKYC Austin

WKYC Channel 3 News reporter Austin Love donating blood during a Halloween blood drive at the Warzel Donation Center in Cleveland. Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Join the Red Cross at one of several holiday blood drives happening in Northeast Ohio and help save lives this holiday season:

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn Twinsburg Holiday Blood Drive

8971 Wilcox Dr., Twinsburg, 44087

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018

Quicken Loans Arena Blood Drive

1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

Cuyahoga Falls Holiday Blood Drive

Sheraton Suites Akron/Cuyahoga Falls

1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, 44221

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

 

Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

33 WYTV Holiday Blood Drives

Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 5th Ave., Youngstown

Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave., Warren

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Landerhaven Blood Drive

Executive Caterers at Landerhaven

6111 Landerhaven Dr., Mayfield Heights, 44124

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Red Cross is currently facing an urgent need for blood. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.

Your blood donation may give a patient in need more time – and more holidays – with loved ones. To make an appointment for any of the blood drives listed above, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Generosity Flows From Their Veins

Blood Drive at Landerhaven draws hundreds of donors on a winter’s day in Northeast Ohio

 

The annual “Give from the Heart” blood drive at Landerhaven near Cleveland resulted in the donation of 528 units of blood, thanks to the generous donors who braved snow and cold to give the gift of life.

One of those donors was Michelle Polinko, the Regional Development Officer for the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

“Giving blood isn’t always easy or convenient, but it’s always the right thing to do,” she said, as Collections Technician Willie Muse worked with good humor to ensure Michelle’s experience was positive. DVXfoKJWAAI51Wl (3)

Also adding to the positive vibe was the food provided by Executive Caterers.

The donations of blood could not have come at a more crucial time, as the Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Ongoing winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled Red Cross blood drives, resulting in the blood and platelet donation shortfall. Blood donations are critically needed so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.

To schedule an appointment for a future blood donation, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org,   or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Give From the Heart Turns 20

Landerhaven Blood Drive Comes Amidst Critical Shortage, Urgent Need for Donations

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Biomedical Services

The American Red Cross is partnering with Executive Caterers at Landerhaven for the 20th annual Give from the Heart Blood Drive. The blood drive is Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Heights.

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Photo Credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross

The Give from the Heart Blood Drive is a lifesaving tradition in northeast Ohio. In the past 19 years, the event has collected more than 12,200 units of blood for local patients. All presenting donors will receive gifts from blood drive sponsors, while supplies last, and enjoy live entertainment throughout the drive. Donors will also enjoy gourmet food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, courtesy of Executive Caterers.

This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Ongoing winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled Red Cross blood drives and the resulting blood and platelet donation shortfall since earlier this month. Blood donations are critically needed now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.

To schedule an appointment for this special event, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit rcblood.org/appt and enter code: Landerhaven  or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).