The Community Blood Center Declares Blood Supply Critically Low
Urgent need for local donors to replenish blood supply for area hospitals
APPLETON, Wis. (August 25, 2016) —The blood supply at The Community Blood Center (CBC) is reaching dangerously low levels and they are urging the public to donate immediately. Inventory has dropped 35% since July 1, 2016 and donors of all blood types are needed. Donors can visit any of CBC’s four donor centers or upcoming mobile drives to help ensure local hospital patients have the blood they need. While all patient needs are currently being met, the blood supply won’t be sustainable at the current donation pace.
“Blood collection has been exceptionally difficult this summer,” stated CBC President/CEO John Hagins. “We’re now feeling the effects of the FDA’s increase in the minimum hemoglobin level required for men to donate blood. In addition, we’re experiencing an increase in deferrals for donors who have been to areas with active Zika virus transmission.”
Due to a change in the Code of Federal Regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CBC increased the minimum hemoglobin level required for men to donate blood on Monday, May 23, 2016. All male donors must now have a hemoglobin level equal to or greater than 13.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL) to donate blood—a 0.5 g/dL increase from the previous 12.5 g/dL requirement.
Also in accordance with federal mandates, CBC defers individuals for 28 days after travel or symptom resolution if they have traveled to areas with local Zika virus transmission or have been exposed to the virus. Active Zika virus transmission areas include Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the Pacific Islands and Miami-Dade County in Florida. In addition, donors with two or more symptoms after possible exposure are asked to self-defer for four weeks after their symptoms have cleared.
“Summer is normally a difficult time to ensure an adequate blood supply. The additional regulatory requirements have made this summer especially difficult. Please consider taking an hour out of your day to help ensure that blood is on the shelves when patients need it,” Hagins urged.
To schedule a blood donation, please call (800) 280-4102 or visit www.communityblood.org and click “Donate Blood”.
Volunteer blood donations are used every two seconds in the U.S. to help hospital patients like local blood recipients Mira and Gavin, who both needed life-saving blood products as young children:
Read Mira’s story: http://www.communityblood.org/stories/miras-story/
Read Gavin’s story: http://www.communityblood.org/stories/gavins-story/
All donors must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined by the FDA, accrediting organizations (such as AABB) and individual donation centers. To donate in Wisconsin, individuals must be at least 16 years old, in general good health and must meet weight and hemoglobin level requirements on donation day. Donors are encouraged to eat a regular meal, drink plenty of water prior to donation, and present a photo ID upon donation.
The Community Blood Center (CBC) was established in 1955 and continues today as an independent nonprofit providing a safe and reliable blood supply to hospitals in Northeast Wisconsin, the Northwoods and upper Michigan. CBC has donor centers in Appleton, Oshkosh, Little Chute and Woodruff, plus hosts over 100 blood drives every month. For more information on how you can donate blood or host a blood drive, please visit www.communityblood.org or call 800-280-4102.