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Challenging Summer For Local Blood Bank

Face mask Marian.JPG
Mark Pompilio
Community Blood Center
Marian Haines donates blood for the Community Blood Center last week

Keeping an adequate blood supply has been particularly challenging this summer for blood banks here in the Miami Valley.

Blood donations usually decrease during the summer. High schoolers don’t give at school and vacations often disrupt donating habits. But this year, according to Dayton’s Community Blood Center, summertime blood drives were also cancelled due to COVID 19, and that’s left local blood banks scrambling.

Mark Pompilio, the Community Blood Center’s public relations manager, says shortages this year have been the worst he’s ever seen. He says supplies dropped lowest around the Fourth of July, but have since recovered - in part thanks to support from a nationwide network of blood banks. But, he says:

“It's too early to say that there's light at the end of the tunnel, too early to say that we're on some kind of normal schedule because we're not.”

Pompilio says now is the perfect time to become a blood donor. It's safe, and all Blood Center drives enforce social distancing rules and require people to wear masks. On Thursday, there’s a drive at Mills Lawn Elementary School in Yellow Springs from noon to six. Appointments are encouraged and the sponsor code is 792.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.