SIDNEY – The Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County will host a community blood drive Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the meeting room, 304 S. West Ave. It’s a chance to boost the summer blood supply and possibly win an Alaska vacation for two. 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 “Blood Donors Don’t Moose Around” t-shirt. The shirt is green and the design features an Alaska moose under a full moon in the snow-covered wilderness. 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 entering the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation through the Sept. 3 blood drive period. Official rules are available at www.givingblood.org.
The summer of 2016 brings many challenges to maintaining the regional blood supply. High schools are on summer break, and nearly one fourth of all registrations to donate whole blood at CBC come from high school students. Family vacations, travel, and outdoor activities also disrupt donation schedules. In addition, new screening restrictions 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 6 percent in the donor deferral rate.