VANDALIA – Vandalia United Methodist Church will help boost blood donations as the summer season heats up with a blood drive Monday, June 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the church gym, 200 South Dixie Drive. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE.
Community Blood Center is offering the “We’re Wild About Blood Donors” t-shirt as a gift to everyone who registers to donate May 2 through June 11 at a CBC Donor Center or most CBC blood drives. Everyone age 18 and older who registers to donate with CBC from May 2 through Sept. 3 will be entered in the drawing to win a custom-designed Alaska vacation for two in the “Wild About Alaska Adventure for Two Summer Blood Drive.”
The grand prize includes air travel to Alaska, deluxe accommodations during your week-long stay, and options for a cruise or land travel. The vacation is for the winning donor and a travel companion.
Donors can double their chances of winning by donating early in the summer and becoming eligible to donate again. They can enter the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation during the blood drive period.
NEW CHALLENGES TO THE SUMMER BLOOD SUPPLY
Summer always comes with challenges to the blood supply. It’s a time when high schools are on summer break, families are taking vacations, and outdoor activities increase. All this can disrupt donation schedules and challenge the regional blood supply.
Added to these seasonal challenges are new screening restrictions designed to protect the health of donors and the blood supply.
CBC and blood centers across the nation continue to take caution against the Zika virus. Potential donors who have traveled to Zika endemic areas in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central or South America are deferred from donating for 28 days. The restriction is expected to decrease the number of eligible donors by approximately 2.25 percent.
As change in FDA regulation is now in place to protect the health of the donor. As of May 23, a higher hemoglobin level is required for male donors. The 12.5 grams per deciliter (g/dl) requirement for donating has increased to 13.0 g/dl for males. (The female requirement remains at 12.5 g/dl).
CBC estimates the new hemoglobin requirement, coupled with stricter pulse screening requirements that also went into effect May 23, could have an impact of up to six percent in the donor deferral rate.