Have You Ever Wondered Who Comes Out to Donate Blood In a Storm?

Posted: January 14, 2011 in RIBC
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I have to share this story with you. I had someone nudge me today, asking how we (the Rhode Island Blood Center) made out in the storm, and did donors actually make it in. When I replied yes we had a few, I was reminded how these people need a special shout out! I had my nose in a problem all day and had forgotten to thank the donors who came out in the storm to give! Of course we can not name who those donors are to you due to confidentiality, but in looking at what happened yesterday, a picture quickly formed of the kinds of people who donate and the terrific staff we have here at the Blood Center.

We are so glad the snowstorm has passed. We were watching this storm since the weekend, and really planning on how we would manage the inventory in the event it was as bad as everyone said it would be. So much of what we do is dependent on our community. If businesses can’t open, if employees can’t get to work, if children, teens and colleges don’t have school, it can break down a well-built collection schedule very quickly. So we plan and watch because as we always say, the need for blood doesn’t pay attention to storms, it is always there, ever-present. There have been times we have even positioned our buses ‘on the island’ the day ahead of a storm so we can continue collections if necessary.  We never want anyone to put their lives at risk to donate, but you would not believe the stories behind the dedication of people who give blood.

Yesterday was really no different from other bad snowstorms. On Tuesday, we started working with the drive sponsors to change the drive hours so they would start an hour later. We posted this on all our social media to make everyone aware of the changes. We were ready…the later start times would give people time to dig out…of course we were ready if businesses opened.

Early Wednesday morning, things started cancelling. It was clear very quickly that the night’s snowfall had been bad and we were not over it yet. Schools cancelled, businesses did not open, the Governor told people if they were not essential personnel to stay off the road so the plows could do their work. And with each cancellation, we saw our collection schedule close down for the day. Oh, but wait, our Donor Center’s are always open! And our essential staff always come in… We made the decision to open at 10am. The need for blood doesn’t take a break. The blood collected yesterday has to be tested, it has to be labeled and released, and our Hospitals still need inventory! So our staff has to come in! But would the donors come? Red cells are good for 42 days, but platelets (apheresis) only last for 5 days. As you can imagine, we can not afford to lose an entire day!

So who are the heroes who donated yesterday? Again, we go back to the quiet everyday heroes who generously give the Gift of Life. We are very proud to report we had 2 donors make it to our Providence Donor Center…and on top of that we had 7 employees roll up their sleeves (Providence and Warwick sites) to donate those precious platelet pheresis products. Yes, those products that have a limited shelf life and we have to collect every day They quickly grasped the seriousness of the situation and the need for those products and decided to donate to make up for lost collections.

We thank all our donors from yesterday… their dedication is one of the things that make Rhode Island such a great state to live in…and we thank our really great staff. We should not let the dedication of these donors,  to go above and beyond yesterday, go unnoticed.

Honor a Blood Donor today. It is National Blood Donor Month! In honor of our donors, we have created the Blood Drop Twibbon. Help us turn Facebook and Twitter red by wearing the twibbon on your profile picture! You do not have to be a donor to honor one! You can pick up your twibbon here: http://twb.ly/g2sf9P

  1. Brian La Tour says:

    This is a very nice blog kathie! I like the way you show your appreciation and concern for your donors. As a donor i like the personal approach you give to such a great cause. I hope your company appreciates you as much as you appreciate your dedicatedness to such a great cause. please keep up the great work you are doing and I am sure we love the dedication you have given and i want to say, Way to go you are doing such a great job! Please keep doing what you are doing, I like reading your blogs they are very personal and indformative. Thanks Brian

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NewEnglandMultimedia. NewEnglandMultimedia said: @MomentusCAPECOD "Have You Ever Wondered Who Comes Out to Donate Blood In a Storm?" http://bit.ly/egnWQf […]

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