My first attempt to donate blood

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer

Editors note: The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak.  Through March 17, nearly 4,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer blood donations. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.

March 18, 2020- You’ve seen the advertisements and signs before—the ones that list upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in your area. You may drive past the sign on your way home or see something about a local drive on your social media feed. Like many people, I am not fond of needles. This is why for many years I went without donating blood.

This year, I was determined to put my nerves aside to take part in my first blood drive. I found a local site and signed up for a time slot, hoping that scheduling an appointment would help avoid any lines. When I arrived, there were several people donating and several more getting their screenings completed.

Blood bank Campaign ceremony 2017

Laurie Brungeau giving blood during the launch of the Haitian Red Cross blood collection center in Port-au-Prince. The Haitian Red Cross suffered serious damage during the earthquake, but thanks to their hard work–and capacity-building investments from partners like the American Red Cross — they have stregthened and become more sustainable over the years. Photo: Garry Calixte/American Red Cross

After registering and completing my pre-screening, it was time to donate. The nurse asked me which arm I prefer, to which I answered, “Whichever arm that you can find a vein.” The nurse asked me if I have had trouble with nurses finding my veins in the past. They have but I didn’t think that would be an issue for donating. These volunteers do this regularly and are pros, right?

While the nurses at the donation site were, in fact, seasoned experts, the two nurses who checked still had trouble finding a viable vein to use in my arm. Out of caution for my well-being, they told me I wasn’t able to donate. I was incredibly disappointed that of all reasons to be turned away as a donor, it was my lack of a viable vein!

Blood Drive New York 2018

This experience showed me just how important it is for those who can donate blood to do so. After sharing my experience with a few friends, I learned that many of them had similar experiences. From my friends and the nurses at the blood drive, I learned a few best practices I wanted to share for those looking to donate:

  • Drink lots of water before you donate – the day before and the day of your donation.
  • Avoid caffeine to avoid detracting from #1.
  • The magic number for your iron level is 12.5. They test this before you actually start your donation to make sure you have the minimum level.
  • Complete the RapidPass online before you donate to save time at the blood donation location. This contains the pre-donation packet reading and health history questions donors need to complete.
  • Bring some music or reading when you donate. It only takes 8-10 minutes to do the actual blood donation but having something to do can help pass the time, especially if you are nervous.

Knowing these things, I plan to go back again soon to see if I can donate. I hope my story encourages you to donate as well.

Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018

Currently, there is an urgent need for blood due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to give soon. To schedule an appointment and for information on enhanced blood donation safety related to Coronavirus, visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org.

For those who can’t donate, the Red Cross offers volunteer opportunities to support  blood drives. You can learn more about these at: https://www.redcross.org/local/ohio/northeast/volunteer.html.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster report: March 13-15, 2020

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

March 16, 2020- While residents in Northeast Ohio were taking precautions to remain safe from the coronavirus, members of the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio Disaster Action Team were assisting residents facing the worst day of their lives, as disasters do not adhere to social distancing measures.

During the weekend of March 13-15, the DAT team responded to disasters in four of the five chapters of the Northeast Ohio Region, with disasters occurring in Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Richland, Stark and Trumbull counties.

The Red Cross assisted 32 adults, 29 children and provided $12,460 in immediate financial assistance.

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While we all take extraordinary steps to contain the coronavirus, the Red Cross is asking all healthy individuals to donate blood, to help maintain the nation’s blood supply as blood drives across the country continue to be cancelled.

Over the last few days, we have seen blood drive cancellations grow at an alarming rate. Through March 13, about 1,500 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in some 46,000 fewer blood donations. We expect that number to rise.

We understand why people may be hesitant to come out for a blood drive, but want to reassure the public that we are taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of our donors and staff.

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

We are checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy. Hand sanitizers are available for use before entering the drive, as well as throughout the donation process. We are also spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.

Red Cross employees follow strict safety procedures, including wearing gloves and changing them often, wiping down all donor-touched surfaces and equipment and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.

A blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. One of the most important things you can do to ensure we don’t have another health care crisis on top of the coronavirus is to give blood.

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If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, please make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Healthy blood donors needed amid coronavirus concerns

March 11, 2020- With confirmed coronavirus disease cases in Northeast Ohio and the state of Ohio declaring a state of emergency, and with schools across the region closed and events postponed due to precautions, the American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, rise in the U.S.

Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

help-maintain-the-blood-supply

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at RedCrossBlood.org. At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.

Blood drive hosts play important role
Blood drive hosts also play a critical role in maintaining a sufficient blood supply and are asked to keep hosting blood drives for patients who rely on lifesaving blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.

The Red Cross, with the help of its blood drive hosts and blood donors, can help ensure the safety and availability of the U.S. blood supply for patients including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

“Keep giving, keep hosting blood drives,” said Hrouda. “Patients across the country need our help.”

To learn more about hosting a blood drive for patients in need, please visit RedCrossBlood.org.

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Red Cross committed to blood supply safety

The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our valued staff, blood donors and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

Nonetheless, the Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. Individuals are asked to postpone their donation for 28 days following:

  • Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea;
  • Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has or is suspected to have the virus.

As the situation evolves, the Red Cross will continue to evaluate all emerging risks in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and industry partners to determine if additional intervention strategies are needed. Together, we stand ready to keep the American public informed and prepared.

Blood donation process

A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

 

Red Cross has my heart, on Valentine’s Day and every day

My family’s Red Cross connection and how a blood drive led to lasting love

By Renee Palagyi, Senior Disaster Program Manager

February 14, 2020- Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Partly because it’s also my birthday but mostly because it’s the time to think about love and caring. In that spirit, here’s my love story.

My dad, Pvt. Charles Fedor, was 19 in the 1940s when his Army battalion was sent to Germany during World War II. He also fought in France before returning safely home. I’m sure he saw horrific things in those years but he never spoke about that time to his children.

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Pvt. Charles Fedor

What my dad did share with his children happened while he was still in basic training at Fort Sill. Sadly, his baby brother Paul died in a car accident and Dad told us how he was “brought home” by the American Red Cross. According to Dad, a Red Cross nurse was with the commanding officer to deliver the tragic news, waited while he packed his belongings and took him to the train station. When he arrived in Conneaut, a Red Cross worker met him at the train station and drove him home.

My quiet, soft-spoken dad, a lifetime blood donor, told his six children that they should all think of ways to give back to the Red Cross.

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Renee with her husband Stan Palagyi

Fast forward to 1969. My mother was working as a “Gray Lady”*  at the local Red Cross bloodmobile and they needed extra help. She called home where I was enjoying my two-week summer vacation from nursing school and “asked” that I come help. I was hooked the minute I arrived. Everyone was friendly and talkative and they were all thanking the blood donors. I couldn’t wait to go back to the next bloodmobile!

I graduated from nursing school in 1971 and made sure I always had the time in my surgical nurse schedule to work the blood drive every other month. Back then, we volunteer nurses were allowed to do more, and I routinely did histories and screening of about half of the 200-plus donors we had every 56 days.

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Renee and Stan’s wedding day

It happened that the January blood drive in 1973 was super busy and I worked the entire eight hours, screening donors and talking with many folks who had been greeted by my mom and her fellow Gray Ladies. What I did not know, was that my loving mother and her cohorts were carefully vetting the donors in search of a beau for me! All women and older men were directed to the other screener while I got all of the “eligible bachelors.” I can only imagine that greeting process, which went far beyond, “Did you read the materials today?” and more into, “So what do you do for a living?” Oh my.

Well, two days later I got a call. “Hi, my name is Stan Palagyi and we met at the bloodmobile. I was wondering if you’d like to see a movie this weekend.” I had absolutely NO IDEA who this person was after seeing so many donors that day. Yet, I was single and, admittedly, desperate for a date. I said “yes.”

wedding (002)

Stan and I were married in December 1973 and are the parents of four children and grandparents of eight. Just this past summer, we welcomed our first great grandchild.

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Renee and Stan Palagyi and their great-grandson

Stan and I are regular blood donors and on occasion have made it to the same blood drive where people enjoy hearing the story of how we met. I know my Type O negative blood is very valuable and I love watching the story of my donation on the Red Cross blood app. I am grateful for the chance to save up to three lives every 56 days. I am super grateful to have found the love of my life while we were both helping others through the Red Cross.

Show you care and give blood to help save a life. To find a blood drive near you, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

*Gray Ladies were Red Cross volunteers who wore a gray nurse-style uniform, complete with cap.

They worked in hospitals delivering flowers and gifts and sometimes the book cart ( mini lending library). They staffed hospital gift shops and made blankets and stuffed toys to sell there.

They did registrations and snacks at bloodmobiles. During the war, they packed gift boxes for soldiers with handmade socks etc.

In general, they were the non-professional female volunteer corps for many years.

I loved the Gray Ladies! – Renee Palagyi

 

Cancer patients use more blood than those fighting any other disease

“Give Blood to Give Time” partnership with the American Cancer Society launches 

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

February 10, 2020- In November 2019, North Canton resident Casey Richards was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma. Richards was 10 weeks pregnant when doctors discovered a mass that doubled in size over one week. She was immediately scheduled for surgery to remove it and a biopsy revealed the mass was cancerous. A few days later, Richards was admitted to University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Centerto begin chemotherapy.

Winter Blood Need Sign

Richards went through four rounds of inpatient chemotherapy and received several blood and platelet products during her treatment.

“Receiving blood products helped with my extreme fatigue during treatment,” said Casey. “It also helped my levels go up faster, so I not only felt better, but it got me back into the hospital to start my next round of chemo and beat this disease faster.”

Blood Donation at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Megadrive 2017

Richards is now in remission and home with her husband Bobby, and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter Parker. She encourages everyone to donate blood to help patients like her.

“Giving blood helps not just the person receiving it, by helping with their disease, but it truly helps that person’s family and friends as well,” Casey said. “So many people benefit from such a generous donation.”

Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers

Warzel Blood Donation Center

3747 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Parma Blood Donation Center

5585 Pearl Rd., Parma

Monday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Summit Blood Donation Center

501 W. Market St., Akron

Sundays, Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesdays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Wednesdays and Thursdays: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Ashtabula County

Ashtabula

2/12/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Ashtabula Towne Square, 3315 N Ridge Rd E

2/26/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Elks Lake Lodge 208, 3115 Lake Rd W

Austinburg

2/10/2020: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Austinburg Town Hall, 2794 State Route 307 E.

Conneaut

2/14/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Conneaut Public Library, 304 Buffalo Street

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., New Leaf United Methodist Church, 110 Gateway Avenue

Pierpont

2/27/2020: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Williams-Ducro Funeral Home, 1071 State Route 7 North

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Cuyahoga County

Bay Village

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Bay Village Branch, 502 Cahoon Road

Beachwood

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus, 25875 Science Park Drive, Building 1

2/21/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Beachwood Community Center, 25451 Fairmount Blvd

Berea

2/24/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Berea Recreation Center, 451 Front St

Brecksville

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Brecksville Community Center, One Community Drive

Broadview Heights

2/17/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Church of the Assumption, 9183 Broadview Rd

Brooklyn

2/20/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Health-Mor, 1 American Road, Suite 1250

Cleveland

2/12/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 Metrohealth Drive

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., 1111 Superior, 1111 Superior

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/13/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., James Ford Rhodes High School, 5100 Biddulph

2/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/14/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/18/2020: 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 9500 Euclid Ave.

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 1100 Superior Building, 1100 Superior Avenue

2/18/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

2/18/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., CWRU Thwing Hall Ballroom, 11111 Euclid Avenue

2/19/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., CWRU Thwing Hall Ballroom, 11111 Euclid Avenue

2/21/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Miller Tower, 9500 Euclid Avenue

2/22/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 2187 W 14th St

2/22/2020: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Omega Psi Phi, 15435 St. Clair

2/24/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave.

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cleveland State University Main Classroom, 2121 Euclid Avenue

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lutheran Hospital, 1730 West 25th Street

2/26/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cleveland State University Main Classroom, 2121 Euclid Avenue

2/29/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., University Circle United Methodist Church, University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 East 107th

Cleveland Heights

2/12/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Hts Library, 2345 Lee Road

Euclid

2/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Our Lady of the Lake Church, 19951 Lakeshore Blvd.

Fairview Park

2/26/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bain Cabin, 21077 North Park Dr

Garfield Heights

2/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Marymount Hospital, 12300 McCracken Road

Independence

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Independence Community Center, 6363 Selig Drive

Lakewood

2/16/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Rd.

2/24/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lakewood Women’s Club Pavilion, 14532 Lake Ave.

Mayfield Heights

2/11/2020: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive

2/14/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Hillcrest Hospital, 6780 Mayfield Road

Mayfield Village

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., The Mayfield Branch Library, 500 SOM Center

2/20/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd.

Middleburg Heights

2/28/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Middleburg Hts Comm Center, 16000 Bagley Rd

North Olmsted

2/21/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library North Olmsted Branch, 27403 Lorain Road

North Royalton

2/27/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library North Royalton Branch, 5071 Wallings Rd

Rocky River

2/17/2020: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Rocky River Civic Center, 21016 Hilliard Rd.

2/23/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Christopher Catholic Church, 20141 Detroit Rd

Shaker Heights

2/16/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St Dominic Church, 3455 Norwood Drive

Solon

2/19/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Church of the Resurrection, 32001 Cannon Road

South Euclid

2/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Notre Dame College, 1857 S. Green Rd

Strongsville

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Family Health & Surgery Center, 16761 Southpark Center

2/21/2020: 10:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Strongsville Branch, 18700 Westwood Dr

Westlake

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd.

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Rd.

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Erie County

Huron

2/27/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Huron Public Library, 333 Williams St.

Sandusky

2/12/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Perkins Township Building, 2610 Columbus Ave

2/14/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1912 Hayes Ave Sandusky

2/19/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sandusky High School, 2130 Hayes Ave

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Holy Angels Catholic Church, 428 Tiffin Ave

2/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1912 Hayes Ave Sandusky

Vermilion

2/13/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Vermilion High School, 1250 Sanford St.

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Geauga County

Chagrin Falls

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bainbridge Town Hall, 17826 Chillicothe Rd

Chardon

2/21/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Munson Town Hall, 12210 Auburn Rd.

Chesterland

2/26/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Mayfield Church, 7747 Mayfield Rd.

Middlefield

2/27/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Middlefield Library, 16167 East High

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Huron County

Bellevue

2/27/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Bellevue Hospital, 1400 W. Main St.

Collins

2/15/2020: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 4290 Hartland Center Rd

New London

2/13/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Eagles, 29 West Fir Street

Norwalk

2/17/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 60 West Main St.

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Lake County

Eastlake

2/18/2020: 2:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, 35980 Lakeshore Blvd.

Kirtland

2/20/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Kirtland Community Center, 7900 Euclid-Chardon Rd.

Mentor

2/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Great Lakes Mall, 7850 Mentor Ave.

2/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Pilgrim Lutheran Brethren Church, 9514 Johnnycake Ridge Rd.

2/18/2020: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Bellflower Elementary – Paradigm Building, 6477 Center St.

2/24/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Rd.

2/26/2020: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mentor Civic Arena, 8600 Munson Rd.

2/28/2020: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Pinegate Community Clubhouse, 6301 Gatewood Dr.

Painesville

2/16/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Painesville United Methodist, 71 North Park Place

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Quail Hollow Country Club, 11295 Quail Hollow Drive

2/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Morley Library, 184 Phelps Street

2/28/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lake County YMCA Central Branch, 933 Mentor Ave.

Wickliffe

2/26/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Wickliffe Community Center, 900 Worden Road

2/27/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Wickliffe Public Library, 1713 Lincoln Rd.

Willoughby

2/28/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Willoughby Fire Dept, 37000 Euclid Ave.

Willoughby Hills

2/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Noel Church, 35200 Chardon Rd.

2/28/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center Willoughby Hills, 2550 SOM Center Rd.

Willowick

2/23/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St Mary Magdalene Church, 32114 Vine St

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Lorain County

Avon

2/25/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Richard E. Jacobs Health Campus, 33100 Cleveland Clinic Blvd.

Columbia Station

2/22/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Paramount Dog Training, 27100 Royalton Road

Lorain

2/13/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Horizon Science Academy, 760 Tower Blvd

North Ridgeville

2/20/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Kemper Science and Engineering, 37501 Center Ridge Road

Oberlin

2/12/2020: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Shanks Health and Wellness Center, 200 Woodland St.

Sheffield Village

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ohio Business College, 5095 Waterford Dr

How to donate blood

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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.