By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
ENON — The Village of Enon is asking members of the community to step up and give the gift of life by donating blood during the village’s August blood drive campaign.
According to Village Administrative Assistant Sheilah Ruef, who is spearheading the local campaign, the drive will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Enon Government Center, 363 E. Main St. in the village.
Ruef noted that the theme of the summer blood drive this year is “Don’t Moose Around; Give Blood.” Everyone who registers to donate blood will receive one “Blood Donors Don’t Moose Around” t-shirt that features an Alaskan moose standing under a full moon in the snow-covered wilderness.
Donors age 18 and older will be automatically entered into the Community Blood Center’s (CBC) “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 for one week, and options for a cruise or land travel for the winning donor and a travel companion.
Ruef said the need for donors generally rises in the summer because donor pools decline. High school students, who supply a significant amount of blood donations during school-sponsored blood drives, are on summer break and many local donors are away vacationing. Rolling up a sleeve and donating blood this month will help ensure that cancer patients, trauma victims, individuals undergoing surgery and other patients have the blood supply they need.
“Blood donations generally stay local. Within the past couple of years, donors receive a phone call about when and where their blood was used,” Ruef said.
In addition, the CBC and blood centers across the country are continuing to take preventive measures against the spread of 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 hemoglobin and pulse screening requirements, which took effect May 23, has also had an impact of as much as six percent in the donor deferral rate.
According to a recent CBC media release, a new travel restriction has just gone into effect during the first week of August. The CBC is taking additional precautions against the Zika virus out of concern that local donors may have traveled to two counties in Florida where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested the suspension of blood collections. The CBC is asking anyone who has traveled to Florida’s Miami-Dade or Broward Counties in the last four weeks to self-defer from registering to donate blood.
Ruef said the blood-giving process takes approximately one hour to complete. Donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old or 16 years of age with a signed consent form from a parent.
Ruef suggests wearing clothing with sleeves that can easily be rolled up above the elbow, and to bring a list of the medications you are currently taking. Donors must show a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, employee badge, or student card. It is also helpful to the CBC staff if donors bring their CBC donor ID cards.
“Every time you donate blood you’ll accrue donor rewards points which are redeemable for gifts,” said Ruef.
In addition, CBC officials recommend that donors take several measures before donating blood. Include low-fat, iron-rich foods in your diet, and get plenty of sleep. Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy meal on the day of your donation. If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donating.
Donors are encouraged to sign up online at www.donortime.com or schedule an appointment by calling the government center at 937-864-7870.
“Every local donation will help supply life-saving blood to our area hospitals,” Ruef said.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.