VANDALIA — Joseph Airport Toyota in Vandalia will host a community blood drive Thursday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a chance to win the “Wild About Alaska Adventure for Two” vacation. The Community Blood Center Bloodmobile will be at 1180 West National Road. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE.Everyone who registers to donate will receive the new “Whale of a Blood Donor” t-shirt featuring a humpback whale and Alaskan mountain range design. Everyone age 18 and older will also be entered in the Community Blood Center “Wild About Alaska Adventure for Two Summer Blood Drive” drawing to win a custom-designed Alaska vacation for two.
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 will be entered in the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation during the May 2 through Sept. 3 blood drive period. Official rules are available at www.givingblood.org.
NEW CHALLENGES TO THE SUMMER BLOOD SUPPLY
The summer of 2016 brings new challenges to maintaining the regional blood supply that go beyond the busy July 4th holiday period and the seasonal disruptions from high schools on break, family vacations, travel, and outdoor activities. New screening restrictions to protect the health of donors and the safety of the blood supply are impacting the number of people able to donate.
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.
A change in FDA screening regulations went into effect May 23 to protect the health of donors. A higher hemoglobin level is now 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 took effect May 23, could have an impact of up to six percent in the donor deferral rate.
Reach the Community Blood Center online at www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE.