3 surgeries canceled for blood shortage

Jessica Sprowl

Three surgeries, one being an open-heart, were canceled last week in Summit County because there has been a blood shortage of Type O-negative blood, which is the preferred blood type for surgeries, said Jackie Zavodney, a communications specialist with the American Red Cross of Summit County.

There is also a blood shortage of five of the eight types of blood in the northern Ohio area, said Karen Kelley, communications and marketing manager of the Northern Ohio Blood Region.

“We are urging people to please donate blood,” Kelley said. “There is always a danger that surgeries will get canceled due to low blood supply.”

To be eligible for donating blood, one must be at least 17 years old, weigh no less than 110 pounds and be in generally good health, Kelley said.

The entire donating process takes about an hour, but giving blood only takes about 10 minutes, Kelley said.

One unit of blood can be processed into different units, Kelley said. So one person donating can help more than one person.

“There is no easier way to save a life than by donating blood,” Kelley said.

The American Red Cross of Summit County is also trying to help by holding a flea market on May 7 to earn more money to benefit international services, Zavodney said.

Parking and admission are free, while the rented space fee, for those selling items, will be donated to the international services, Zavodney said.

“Anyone is welcome, and our doors will also be open for blood donations inside,” Zavodney said.

Also going on that day will be the SafeKids Coalition Safety Fair, hosted by the Summit County American Red Cross, Zavodney said.

There will be free child seat safety inspections, free child identification cards, fire safety house tours, a life jacket exchange program and free raffles and giveaways, Zavodney said.

There will also be appearances by Scooby Doo, Geoffrey the Giraffe, Gilby, Louie the Lightning Bug and more, Zavodney said.

The flea market will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the safety fair will go from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Zavodney said.

For blood drive locations, please call (800) GIVE LIFE, or (800) 448-3543.

To reserve your space at the flea market or for more questions, contact Jamie Bricker at (330) 535-2549.

Contact social services reporter Jessica Sprowl at [email protected].