Blood banks face most urgent need since the COVID-19 pandemic began: How to help

Regional blood banks in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas are asking potential blood donors to return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels of donations by rolling up their sleeves to help soon. Hamilton will host its monthly blood donation event Thursday. Journal-News
Regional blood banks in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas are asking potential blood donors to return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels of donations by rolling up their sleeves to help soon. Hamilton will host its monthly blood donation event Thursday. Journal-News

As the number of coronavirus positive test cases continues to wane, so too are the numbers of southwest Ohio blood donors, said area medical officials in Greater Cincinnati and the Dayton.

Some of the reason is seasonal.

The onset of summer – even pre-pandemic – was always problematic for the region’s blood banks due to many regular donors going on vacations or being diverted by other activities.

“Right now, Hoxworth does have an urgent need for platelet donors, and we’re also asking those with type O blood to schedule donations as soon as possible,” said Cara Nicolas, a spokeswoman for the Hoxworth Blood Center of University Cincinnati, which serves more than 30 hospitals in 18 counties in southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana.

“This is not uncommon during the summer months. We find that as people are going on vacations and making plans, blood donation isn’t top of mind, but the need for blood tends to increase with traumas and scheduled surgeries becoming more prevalent,” said Nicolas.

“We need at least 400 blood donors and 50 platelet donors every day to meet the demands of our area hospitals.”

Thursday, officials from the Greater Dayton area Community Blood Center (CBC) are hoping helping others through the donation of blood will return to top-of-mind-status in Hamilton at its next monthly donation event.

ExploreLocal hospitals: Blood shortage worsens, donations urgently needed

Donors are welcomed from noon to 6:30 p.m. in the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton Riverview Ballroom, 1 Riverfront Plaza, said CBC officials.

They said there is no deferral or delay in donating blood after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine.

And a free T-shirt – featuring a logo announcing “Blood Donors are the GOAT - Greatest of All Time” will be given to anyone who registers to donate.

In a statement released by CBC officials, they said appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are accepted as space allows. Schedule online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

“CBC is facing its most severe blood shortage since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Usage has outpaced collections of type O blood, and CBC is struggling to average the 300 donors per day necessary to meet area hospital demands.”

“Many corporate and community-sponsored blood drives are not at normal size, despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Summer is underway with the traditional challenges of vacation travel, outdoor activities, and increased emergency room usage,’ said officials.

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 CBC branch & 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.