Orleans Community Health, YMCA joining for blood drive on Feb. 4

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 January 2022 at 7:45 am

MEDINA – For anyone who has ever considered giving blood – the time is now.

According to Orleans Community Health, for the first time in its history, the American Red Cross on Tuesday declared the current situation is a national blood crisis.

Since March 2020, the American Red Cross has reported a 10% decline in overall donations, Orleans Community Health said in a press release. If donation levels do not return to normal soon, many patients in need of transfusions will not receive them, the hospital reports.

Orleans Community Health is calling on the larger community to do its part to become a blood donor. On Feb. 4, from 2 to 6 p.m., Orleans Community Health is partnering with the Orleans County YMCA to hold a community blood drive. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-Red-Cross or visiting www.RedCrossBlood.org.

“We have continued to host blood drives throughout the pandemic, as we want to be a space where the community is welcome to help one another, when they are able to,” said Greg Reed, executive director of the Orleans County YMCA. “Bringing the YMCA, American Red Cross and Orleans Community Health together in an effort to save lives through blood donations is what social responsibility is all about.”

“Not everyone can donate blood, said Marc Shurtz, CEO/CIO of Orleans Community Health. “But if you can, we’re calling on you. Let’s pull together as a community and provide this life saving service.”

Anne Kawski is the laboratory director at Orleans Community Health. She regularly highlights the need to donate blood. Every two seconds blood is needed by someone in the United States, and just one donation can save up to three lives, she said.

The following facts are shared by the American Red Cross:

  • More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusion each year in the United States and Canada.
  • Roughly 43,000 pints are used in the United States and Canada each day.
  • Only 37% of Americans are eligible to donate blood, and only about 10% of those actually donate.
  • Anyone who has received a Covid-19 vaccine is eligible to donate. They simply need to bring the name of the manufacturer with them at the time of donation.
  • Patients could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ if compatible blood is not available at the time of the transplant.
  • Donating blood saves lives.

Anyone who donates blood during the month of February will receive a $10 Amazon e-gift card.

Orleans Community Health and the Orleans County YMCA ask everyone to join them in doing their part to save lives. Those eligible are urged to donate on Feb. 4 and then create a plan to donate again.