Red Cross experiences blood shortage


Fayette Victim Witness, Grace UMC set to host local blood drives

The Record-Herald



As the American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country, Fayette Victim Witness will be hosting a local blood drive on Friday, July 9.

Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products.

The Fayette Victim Witness blood drive will be held at the Fayette County Administration Building, 133 S. Main St. in Washington Court House, in the conference room on the second floor. The blood drive will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to Victim Advocate Alexis Crabtree.

“We just really do it as a community service event. It is for a good cause—it helps stabilize. I know there are plenty of people in our community who have to receive blood transfusions, so it helps them,” said Crabtree.

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care.

In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout. The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday break − patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Donors are needed now to prevent further delays to patient care. Schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Those wishing to schedule for the Fayette County Victim Witness blood drive can enter the sponsor code “FayetteVWD” when registering online or can call 740-335-0888 to register.

As a thank you from the American Red Cross, all those who go to blood drives to donate July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail (while supplies last). And, donors who go to blood drives to donate July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year—a $5,000 value (terms and conditions apply: visit rcblood.org/fuel).

As the Fayette County Victim Witness blood drive is on July 9, those who donate will be eligible to receive the $10 Amazon.com gift card in their emails from the Red Cross.

Another upcoming local option for donating is July 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 301 E. Market St., Washington C.H. As this date falls into the July 1-6 range, those who donate are eligible to receive a Red Cross embroidered hat.

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

About blood donation

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.

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.

Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African-American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Blood drive safety

The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive, in alignment with CDC guidance.

The Fayette County Victim Witness Division of the Prosecutor’s Office has the responsibility to aid and assist victims of crime in overcoming the adverse effects of their victimization from cases originating in Common Pleas, Juvenile, and Municipal Courts. The Fayette County Victim Witness Division provides Court Advocacy in all Fayette County Courts, Assistance in filing and information about Protection Orders, Notification on all Court cases, County Crisis Response available through law enforcement or the area hospital, Emergency Assistance, Assistance in filing for Victim’s of Crime Compensation, and other services.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/centralandsouthernoh or join us on Facebook and Twitter @ARCcsor, Instagram @Buckeyeredcross and LinkedIn ARC Central & Southern Ohio Region

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Fayette Victim Witness, Grace UMC set to host local blood drives

The Record-Herald