The Mid Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross is proud to partner with Mount Nittany Health, KCF Technologies, Drucker Diagnostics, Ben Franklin Technology Partners and AccuWeather for the Power Red Challenge, a fundraising campaign to invest in a new Power Red machine to maximize the impact of blood donations in the area.
A Power Red donation allows donors to safely give two units of red blood cells during one donation. A special machine separates and collects two units of red cells and then safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to the donor through the same arm.
"The need for blood is constant, and a Power Red donation is a way to save time and make your blood donation go further," said Hope Roaten, Executive Director of the Mid Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. "After gifts from several State College tech companies, Mount Nittany Health closed the gap and donated the remaining funds needed to procure a new Power Red machine.”
The Red Cross is the nation’s largest blood supplier, providing 40% of U.S. blood to hospitals and cancer treatment centers. To fulfill our mission, we depend on reliable equipment.
Between February 2021 and February 2022, Mount Nittany Health used nearly 2,500 units of red blood cells and nearly 400 units of platelets from the American Red Cross.
"Mount Nittany Health is proud to join our community’s innovators— Ben Franklin Technology Partners, AccuWeather, KCF Technologies, and Drucker Diagnostics—to ensure our region has the life-saving blood stores it needs," said Tiffany Cabibbo, DSc, MSN, RN, CENP, Executive Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Mount Nittany Health. "As the area's primary provider of surgical and emergency services, blood donations are vital to the care we provide to our community."
Jim Strickland, of Curwensville, Clearfield County, has donated blood to the Red Cross since the birth of his daughter in 1991. Since then, he has donated 81 units of blood.
"I was a new father and I decided that I wanted to do something to give back because I had been blessed with a happy, healthy baby girl," Strickland said. "I decided at that time that I would make the commitment to give blood as often as I could."
Within the last three years, Strickland became a Power Red donor.
"I had always wondered about it but never really gave it much thought," Strickland said, "until one time, I was donating at the Red Cross donation center in State College, and there was a gentleman there doing the Power Red donation. Just the way he was talking about it kind of intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try."
Strickland says he encourages people to give Power Red donations because of the benefit of donating double the red blood cells in one sitting. In his personal experience, he has also found that Power Red donations are less fatiguing. With all of your platelets and plasma returned to you along with some saline, you don’t lose the liquid portion of your blood and may feel more hydrated after your donation.
"Sometimes when I would do a regular whole blood donation, it took a day or two to start feeling back to 100%. But with Power Red, I can come up off that table with no problem whatsoever. It's just not as physically taxing to me," Strickland said.
Power Red is for type O, A negative or B negative donors. Other eligibility requirements apply. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets or plasma, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).