GREEN BAY, Wis. (June 7, 2022) — During the summer months, blood and platelet donations often do not keep pace with hospital demand, which can make a world of difference for people in need in our own backyard. That’s why the American Red Cross is teaming up with WBAY-TV and Star 98 WQLH for the 36th annual Super Donor Days Blood Drive Thursday, June 30 from noon to 6 p.m. and Friday, July 1 from 6 a.m. to noon at Tundra Lodge Resort, 865 Lombardi Ave.
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross recycled cotton tote bag, a $10 gift card (via email) and picnic style food, courtesy of Suburban Propane, while supplies last. Appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk ins will be allowed as space permits.
Since November 2019, Brian Reignier from Green Bay has worked on the Red Cross Blood Services Team in Northwest Wisconsin. In January 2022, Reignier went from blood collector to blood recipient.
After an emergency surgery to repair an infected knee replacement, Reignier was released from the hospital. While recovering at home, he experienced post-surgery complications and started to lose a significant amount of blood. When he returned to the hospital, his blood pressure and hemoglobin levels were extremely low putting his life in extreme danger. Reignier required an immediate blood transfusion.
“My doctor said if I would have waited another hour to go back to the hospital, that they would be speaking to family members and not me,” said Reignier. “The blood saved my life.”
Reignier needed blood during the 2022 blood crisis. Hospital personnel had orders to provide blood, but out of an abundance of caution, and to stretch the blood supply, only two out of the three units were needed. With limited inventory, type O negative blood (the universal blood type) was the only blood available.
Reignier remembers looking at the blood bag hanging on the pole and recognizing it as one that he and his colleagues collect from donors every day and how thankful he is for those donors.
Reignier is back collecting blood from donors and fulfilling the mission of the Red Cross. He has been associated with the Red Cross since he was 16 years old in the role of a lifeguard and first aid/CPR instructor and, most recently, occasionally volunteering with the disaster action team for home fires. “I’m very proud to be associated with an organization that has had the longevity and reputation that the Red Cross has by helping others,” said Reignier.
It’s critically important the Red Cross maintain a stable blood supply for patients this summer. To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive antibody testing results and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. The Red Cross will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.