Long-time DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) partner Carter BloodCare announced last month that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the North Texas blood shortage is the worst they’ve seen in decades. For the remainder of 2021, DFWHC will post weekly blogs detailing the blood shortage and opportunities in the community to donate blood. Spread the word!
We have reported there is a critical need for blood donors as the limited blood available for patients’ transfusions has become a chronic shortage. The situation is not just a local challenge, but it is being played out nationwide. Blood can’t be manufactured. It must come from generous individuals.
Many blood donors tell the non-profit community blood center Carter BloodCare they give blood because they want to give back to the community and they are saving lives when they donate. Have you ever considered that blood donation could benefit your own health, in addition to that of the patients receiving your donation?
One Blood Donor’s Story
“I am living testimony if I wasn’t a blood donor I wouldn’t be aware of my high risk for a stroke,” said Ken Giese.
Mr. Giese said he is a multi-gallon donor with Carter BloodCare – usually at a community blood drive in Rockwall. Giese shared his story about an attempted donation in late 2020, during the pandemic. It happened during the pre-donation screening process.
“I was deferred because the phlebotomist detected a heart rhythm abnormality. I seldom listen to my pulse and lo and behold every three or four beats it’d skip a beat. What’s that all about?”
Giese said he exercises regularly, has maintained the same body weight he had in high school and had recently undergone a successful medical physical. After a follow-up with his primary care physician and subsequent referral to a cardiologist, Giese said he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and told he was at high risk for a stroke.
At the time Giese shared his story, he was on medication to stabilize his condition and was awaiting a break in the pandemic before undergoing an elective procedure to ‘repair his heart rhythm.’ Giese reports that he did undergo a procedure in April 2021 and is feeling well. He hopes to return to blood donation if he can eventually discontinue his medications.
Volunteers like Ken Giese donate blood because they want to help others and sometimes they, too, are helped in the process. If you know someone who has not given blood, invite them to make an appointment and donate soon. The need is critical for patients.
Visit carterbloodcare.org; call or text 800-366-2834 for a blood donation appointment.