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MERCY HEALTH-ST. RITA’S WELCOMES NEW CBC BLOOD DRIVES

February 14, 2022

LIMA, Ohio - Mercy Health-St. Rita's Medical Center welcomed a new way to help patients in a time of need by filling the schedule on Feb.11 for the hospital's first blood drive with Community Blood Center.

Friday's blood drive in the Physicians Café Conference Room totaled 82 donors and 67 donations for 111% of collection goal. It was a new experience for most, with 75 registered as first-time donors with CBC.

CBC now supplies blood products to Mercy Health-St. Rita's. The Feb. 11 blood drive was the first of three new CBC blood drives at St. Rita's.

Winter weather has impacted the regional blood supply and continuing constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic have added to the challenge. Type O-negative and a-negative remain in low supply.

"It's definitely a great opportunity to offer another avenue to donate blood in the community," said Chief Nursing Officer Cory Werts. "I definitely see the need and the shortage of blood over the last month. It's so frightening as a nurse to see that you might not have enough blood for your patients.

"To be able to give back a patient in a different way, by having blood drives at the hospital, it kind of comes full circle."

Aimee Kuhlman, director of EVS and Patient Transport, coordinates all hospital blood drives with office coordinator Marcia Mooney. "When I heard about our blood shortage, I vowed to myself to look at ways to get more blood," said Aimee. "Luckily I was in a position to do something about it."

The mission has become personal for Aimee because she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. About one-fourth of all blood donations is used to treat cancer patients.

"In the cancer bays, the patients are talking about getting blood," said Aimee. "A question they ask at every treatment is about getting blood if needed."

"St. Rita's is a great place and always willing to help out," said Marcia. "They know about the shortage going on."

"I'm in and out of here in 30 minutes, start to finish," said St. Rita's donor Dale Wurm, a radiation therapist. "It's convenient when it's at work."

Resident physician Dr. Amy Yuhas was eager to donate at the new blood drive. "I'm really happy about that," she said. "We've had a recent rash of operations where we really needed a lot of blood. It comes in waves, unfortunately. Every bag of blood is needed. It saves lives. We really needed to give back."

Upcoming CBC blood drives at St. Rita's are May 20 and July 15. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.