MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Critical need for blood in region

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Solvita Blood Center is in critical need of multiple blood types due to recent high usage and low collections following the holiday period. Help meet this urgent need by donating and supporting the critical mission of January National and Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month.

Type O blood is currently in low supply and there is a critically scarce supply of type B blood. Type O is the universal blood type and in constant demand for emergency usage. Type B is rarer with fewer available donors.

Make an appointment to donate with Solvita (formerly Community Blood Center) on the Donor Time app, by calling 937-461-3220, or at

Everyone who registers to donate at any Solvita blood drive, or the Solvita Dayton Center will receive the “Donor Love” long-sleeve, hoodie shirt.

“We have an immediate need, and we are calling on the community for help,” said Solvita Vice President for Donor Services Tracy Morgan. “We anticipate demand to increase and collections at blood drives to become more challenging with the return of winter weather. We’re also concerned about the increasing impact of flu and other illness on the availability of donors.”

National Blood Donor Awareness Month was proclaimed in 1969 and the Ohio General Assembly declared January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month in 2018. The joint purpose is to honor donors and encourage more donations during the winter months when the holidays, severe weather, and seasonal illness make it difficult to maintain a sufficient blood supply.

We are Solvita

In September 2023 we retired our original name Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and adopted the new name “Solvita.”

The name comes from “sol” meaning sun and “vita” meaning life. As sunlight nurtures new life, we take your gift and transform it into new hope. You help us bring the light of healing to patients in our local hospitals through blood donations and to patients around the globe in need of tissue transplants.

“Solvita” is often accompanied by the tagline, From One to Many.It elegantly states how the selfless gift of a single donor radiates in many directions... impacting countless lives.

The need for blood is great

Blood donors directly impact the lives of patients in more than 30 hospitals and cancer centers across 18 counties in the Solvita Blood Center region of western Ohio and eastern Indiana. Solvita must register 350 blood donors every day to meet the needs of its partner hospitals.

Every day, hospitals across our nation need approximately 29,000 units of red blood cells, nearly 5,000 platelet units, and 6,500 plasma units for patients with cancer and other diseases, organ transplant recipients, and trauma victims.

More than 40% of whole blood donations goes to hospital patient care, including blood disorders and cancer. Another 17% is used in critical care, 15% for outpatient care, and 14% for surgeries and transplants.

Why should I donate?

A blood donation is a selfless gift for someone in need… a loved one or a complete stranger.

Most donors say they give blood to help others. It makes them feel good about themselves. It supports their local hospitals and their community. It is an opportunity to “give back” to society for the times when they or their loved ones may need blood.

Patient usage – red blood cells:

40% - Hospital patient care/blood disorders and cancer.

17% - Critical Care/ICU.

14% - Outpatient care.

14% - Surgery/Transplant.

2% - Obstetrics/Gynecology.

2% - Pediatrics/Newborns

What happens when I donate?

  • Check-In: You must have a photo ID with date of birth.

You must be in good health, age 17 or older (age 16 with signed parental consent) and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (possibly more depending on height).

  • Registration: You will answer a series of health history questions on an electronic tablet. It includes questions about your general health, travel, medications, and disease risk factors.
  • DonorXPress: The donation process takes about one hour. You can save time by using “DonorXPress” to complete the donor questionnaire before arriving at the blood drive. Find it on the Donor Time app or at
  • Screening: You will undergo a brief heath screening that includes a check of temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin (a protein in your red blood cells that contains iron and transports oxygen).
  • Donating: A phlebotomist will use a needle and tubing to draw one unit of blood (about one pint or 530 ml) from a vein in your arm, a process that takes about 10 minutes.
  • After donating: You will spend a short time in the Donor Café replenishing with juice and a snack. Most people feel fine after donating. Your body replaces the fluids you gave within hours. Avoid strenuous physical activity and any heavy lifting with the donors arm for about five hours.
  • Your donation: All donated blood is tested for blood type, various transmissible disease agents, and separated into components: red cells, platelets, or plasma. Blood products are delivered to area hospitals and typically reach a patient in need within 10 days.
  • Your next donation: You can give whole blood every 56 days (eight weeks), platelets every seven days up to 24 times per year, and plasma every 28 days up to 13 times per year.

How to prepare for a successful donation

Before coming to the blood drive:

  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water the days before and day of your donation.
  • Eat! Don’t donate on an empty stomach. Eat a healthy meal that includes protein at least 45 minutes before donating.
  • Be well! Don’t try to donate if you have cough, fever, nasal drip, or open wounds.

Before answering the questionnaire:

  • Review your medications.
  • Review recent out-of-country travel.

Before screening:

  • Avoid drinking hot or cold liquids prior to temperature screening with mouth thermometer.
  • Keep your hands warm prior to the digital hemoglobin screening. (Don’t hold a cold water bottle in the hand you will be using for screening!)

What is Hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that contains iron and transports oxygen. To donate, women must have a hemoglobin level of 12.5 grams per/deciliter or higher and men must have 13.0 g/dl or higher.

If you are deferred from donating due to low hemoglobin, wait about four weeks before trying again. Consider adding iron-rich foods to your diet or using vitamins or supplements.

Haem iron is found in animal foods such as red met, seafood and poultry. Haem iron is more easily absorbed than non-haem iron.

Non-haem iron is found mainly in plant foods such as vegetables, legumes, whole grain cereals, nuts, and dried fruits.

Vitamin C greatly improves the body’s ability to absorb iron. Citrus and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C.

Make a difference

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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