CBC part of joint effort to help Texas blood centers

DAYTON, Ohio – People in the path of Hurricane Harvey have survived the darkest days and are now beginning the clean-up and recovery. Texas blood centers are thanking independent blood centers across the country, including Community Blood Center, for being part of the relief effort.

On Monday, Aug. 28, CBC learned that Coastal Bend Blood Center in Corpus Christi and Gulf Coast Blood Center in Houston were both in need of blood. Coastal Bend had resumed collections, but the local population was just beginning to return and was struggling with flood damage. Gulf Coast was unable to reopen and resume collections until the end of the week at best. CBC sent an initial shipment of 60 units, including 45 unit of type O, to Coastal Bend and it arrived Tuesday morning.

“We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to make a commitment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible,” said Dennis Todd, AABB Interorganizational Task Force. He emphasized the need for type O in his appeal.

CBC also appealed to donors to help replenish our local supply, especially of type O, and waited to respond with more shipments of blood to the disaster area as needed.

“When we have a national emergency like this, something a little bit timely, I can be here in about an hour. It’s great to be able to give,” said New Carlisle donor Michael Medlock as he made his 97th lifetime donation Tuesday morning at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. “I hope it never happens again, a disaster like this, but when it happens I’ll be more than happy to come down here and give again.

“I hear a lot of my friends say ‘How can I give? I tell them, it’s a needle stick, who cares? Get it done!”

On Friday Bill Block, president of Blood Centers of America, wrote, “We have good news to report for the most part:

Gulf Coast does not have any needs at this time. They have been able to open many donor locations today and are about 75 percent operating capacity. Between the blood that was shipped by independent community blood centers and an outpouring of support from their local donors they have enough supply.

Coastal Bend has had many donors and had enough excess they were able to move product to another BCA center in need today. Coastal Bend is changing their messaging so they slow donors down, but at this time do not want to turn away anyone as their community is helping so much.

LifeShare had no blood product needs today. Through the Disaster Task force, HHS was able to airlift product from LifeShare Blood Center into Beaumont today with delivery to three hospitals. The water pumps in Beaumont have stopped, the city is without water, the roads remain closed and there is no unauthorized traffic into or out of Beaumont. We are on standby in case additional blood products are needed.

“As many of you have asked what more they can do, we are working on a funding mechanism to support Blood Center employees and their families affected by the storm and hope to have information on this tomorrow for initiating. Thanks again for all your calls and ongoing support.”

Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org.

Connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Get fast and complete answers on how to make your first donation, organize a blood drive, or bring our education program to your school. Get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to our social media pages, or schedule your next appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.

Staff report