Employees heed the call for blood donations

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

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The call went out to employees – “Emergency Blood Shortage: Red Cross blood & platelet donors needed now” – and they responded by rolling up their sleeves for an Aug. 7 blood drive at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center.

Occupational Health Nurse Sharon Butters, a Defense Logistics Agency employee, said 90 people came to the drive, but only 80 were able to give. She said the number was comparable to the same in 2017 and 2018 when Federal Center drives had 81. 

“The Red Cross seemed to be pleased with the amount of people, Butters said. 

The Occupational Health Unit works with the Red Cross to host the drives. During a previous drive, Medical Technician Ann Chisholm said Health Unit employees are “really glad to support the Red Cross locally in bringing lifesaving blood where it’s needed.”

In a July 29 news release, the Red Cross announced it had has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood. Drives are scheduled every two months at the Federal Center to collect six times a year. For 2017 the drives resulted in 477 units being collected and 372 for 2018. Only five drives were conducted in 2018 because of the cancellation of December’s event to observe former president George Bush’s memorial service. 

“So far in 2019, we have collected 216 units.  We had to cancel the first one of the year because of bad weather,” Butters said.  She added that April’s drive was effected because it fell on the week of spring break.

Those who were unavailable or unable to give at recent drives can determine future opportunities to donate at www.redcross.org/give-blood where they can also make an appointment. Donors can also call the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to schedule a blood donation or get more information.