January is Blood Donor Awareness month in Ohio

Staff report

DAYTON — January Blood Donor Awareness Month begins another year, and the urgent message to citizens from Community Blood Center is, “don’t let up, we are counting on you in 2022.”

“We are all accountable, donors, our sponsors, our staff,” said CBC Vice President for Donor Services Tracy Morgan. “Stay healthy so you can donate. Don’t cancel your blood drives, don’t let up. Follow through in whatever way you can to support blood donations. Our hospitals and patients are counting on you.”

Blood centers strive to maintain at least a four-day supply. Many are now at a two-day supply or less, putting patients at risk.

Type O collection has been a persistent challenge for CBC, and especially during the holiday period. CBC has also assisted with emergency need for type O blood outside the region after the school shooting in Michigan, and tornado outbreak in Kentucky.

“The dedication of our donors in 2021 has been amazing,” said Morgan. “We have felt the impact in the constant demand for type O. We have managed through it, but we can’t let up or we will be in a shortage.”

Type O is currently in low supply at CBC, with less than four-day inventory.

CBC is challenging eligible community members to donate at least twice in 2022, and a quick way to reach that goal is with an automated double red cell donation.

CBC enters 2022 with the primary goal of meeting demand for all blood types. A critical mission is to increase double red cell donations by 15 percent, to 150 donors per month. Type O, B-negative, and A-negative donors are in high demand.

CBC is challenging community members to “donate where you live.” CBC is asking area businesses to encourage their remote workers to find a local blood drive and donate.

The original goal of National Blood Donor Awareness Month was to thank donors and encourage more donations during the winter months when the holidays, winter weather, and seasonal illness make it difficult to maintain a sufficient blood supply.

Ohio State Sen. Stephen Huffman (R-5th District) is an emergency room physician, and a life-long blood donor who introduced legislation in 2017 to designate January as Blood Donor Awareness Month in Ohio. It became law in February 2018, and was first celebrated in January 2019.

It is safe and easy to give blood. It’s the blood on the shelf — collected, tested, and processed through CBC’s partnership with donors and hospitals — that saves lives. Schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

Help saves lives by donating this January and making it a habit in 2022. Commit to donate at least twice this year, no matter where you work.

Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email [email protected] Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call 937-461-3220.