Owatonna Hospital Employees Inspire Blood Donations with Personal Stories

December 26, 2011

Employees at the Owatonna Hospital experience the need for blood every day through the patients they serve. However, for two employees the cause is even closer to home. Nadine Worm and Judy Parker, point of service patient registration specialists and blood drive coordinators, are both passionate about recruiting blood donors.

For Worm, blood donation is about giving back. Her oldest son needed multiple blood transfusions during treatment for a rare and very difficult to treat form of epilepsy called medically intractable epilepsy/neurodegenerative disease, with a progressive neurologic decline. In addition, her second son was diagnosed with the same disease and may also need blood transfusions.

Parker’s daughter was recently diagnosed with a very rare blood disease called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). “She was literally kept alive with hundreds of units of plasma,” says Parker. “You never know when you might be the one in need of blood products.”

Together, Worm and Paker encourage all Owatonna Hospital staff and the community to roll up a sleeve and donate on Wednesday, December 28 at the Owatonna Hospital, 2250 26th Street N.W., from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. to help ensure a readily available blood supply for hospital patients.

“The blood supply is particularly vulnerable throughout the holiday season because many donors are traveling or visiting family and friends, and may forget to schedule a blood donation appointment,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the North Central Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “While the need for blood is constant, the supply isn’t without donors.”

There is currently an increased need for type O negative blood donations, especially from December 23 to January 2.

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

About the American Red Cross
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.