CBC donors asked to help with relief effort

DAYTON — As Hurricane Ian reached Florida and moved throughout the southeast with dangerous storm surges, winds, and flooding, the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism is urging individuals in unaffected areas to schedule a blood or platelet donation as soon as possible.

Community Blood Center is ready to assist and encourages donors to make an appointment to donate at www.DonorTime.com, call (937) 461-3220, or use the Donor Time app.

These donations are essential to maintaining a stable and adequate supply of blood and platelets in the coming days to treat patients and save lives. The need for platelets is particularly urgent because they have a limited shelf life of five days, and the storm is expected to impact large sections of the Southeast.

On average, blood centers have only a one or two-day supply of blood on hand. Anticipated disruptions in blood collection and transportation in Florida and the Southeast over the next several days are likely to worsen already low inventories.

The AABB Interorganizational Disaster Task Force activated on Tuesday to take steps to secure the nation’s blood supply. Many blood collection organizations have mobilized and have begun supporting blood centers in Florida.

“We are asking all eligible individuals in areas unaffected by this powerful storm to donate blood or platelets now to ensure that every patient who needs this life-saving resource will have it,” said John Hagins, chair of the Task Force. “There is no substitute for blood and no time to waste. Without these donations, lives could be at risk.”

The Task Force will continue to monitor available supply in the storm area and provide updates as blood needs change.

The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism was formed in January 2002 to help make certain that blood collection efforts resulting from domestic disasters and acts of terrorism are managed properly and to deliver clear and consistent messages to the public regarding the status of America’s blood supply. The Task Force is composed of representatives from U.S. blood services, associations, and commercial entities, as well as liaisons from governmental agencies, who work together in an effort to ensure that safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters. In addition, the Task Force operates as a mechanism to assess the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur.

AABB serves as the designated coordinating entity for the Task Force. In addition to AABB, members include AdvaMed, America’s Blood Centers, American Hospital Association, American Red Cross, Blood Centers of America, College of American Pathologists, National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. Liaisons from the following government agencies also participate in Task Force discussions: Armed Services Blood Program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration.

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 the Dayton CBC and mobile 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 can email [email protected] or call (937) 461-3220. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services® is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to partner hospitals and health centers within its 15-county service area of western Ohio and eastern Indiana and to select hospitals and blood centers outside the region. For more information visit www.givingblood.org.