8 months ago

Feel Better with Firelands - Spring 2018

Firelands Regional Medical Center brings you stories of inspiration, innovation, and empowerment in its Feel Better with Firelands magazine.

{ 6 } B K E N I N O T H

{ 6 } B K E N I N O T H W E American Red Cross Blood Drive Dates at Firelands Regional Medical Center: March 30 April 13 & 27 May 11 & 25 June 8 & 29 July 13 & 27 Location: 1912 Hayes Ave. Sandusky Education Classroom Time: 12 – 5 pm The real life impact of blood donations Every Two Seconds Someone in the United States Needs Blood Many times it’s people facing an emergency. A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood, according to the American Red Cross. But most people don’t realize how many other “non-emergency” situations require blood. For example, an estimated 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and many of them need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment. If blood supply in a region or hospital dips, blood shortages can mean that certain patients, most likely the “non-emergency” patients, don’t get the blood they need when they need it. Marisa’s Story at’s exactly what happened to the daughter of Marisa Munafo, BSN, RN, education specialist at Firelands Regional Medical Center. In 2005, 12-year-old Gina Munafo began experiencing symptoms of weight loss, fevers and fatigue. Aer several months of testing, Gina was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Gina’s cancer journey included six months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, along with many nights at the hospital. “Once I got over the shock of what was happening, I went full force to complete this mission,” said Gina’s mother, Marisa. “I was determined to be her advocate and make sure things were on track.” e protocol for treating children with Lymphoma was standard. Gina’s treatment schedule consisted of inpatient chemotherapy for three days, a trip back home for a few days, then back to the hospital for neutropenia (low blood counts). “e most challenging part was going back in for low blood counts,” said Marisa. “When Gina’s blood counts were low, she would be feverish, chilled and lethargic. is behavior would break my heart. Gina was always a fun, vivacious little girl.” To get Gina feeling like herself, she would be admitted back in the hospital and receive one to three units of blood. ose transfusions were the only thing that would help Gina bounce back to her spunky, happy self. One day aer Gina’s normal routine of Lymphoma treatment, her blood counts were dropping. e family made their typical trek of bringing her back to the hospital for a blood transfusion. is time, Marisa was told Gina could not receive any blood because there was a blood shortage and it was only being given in an emergency situation. “I was appalled,” said Marisa. “is was an emergency situation to me! is was my little girl needing to feel better. I will never forget that dreadful weekend.” Gina spent the weekend miserable, lying in her mother’s arms with a fever, chills and no energy. “I remember thinking, ‘why is this happening?’ No one should be denied blood,” said Marisa. A few days later, Gina was finally able to receive a blood transfusion and began to feel better. As an Education Specialist in the Education department at Firelands, Marisa now makes it her mission to promote the health system’s blood drives and share the importance of donating blood. “I want to educate more people, so maybe they will be inspired to donate,” said Marisa. “I want to share my story.” Over the past few years, the health system blood drives have increased from once a month to twice a month, when possible. More blood drives are being scheduled at Main Campus. Marisa continues to run the blood drives and works to motivate as many people as she can, because there is always a need for blood.

{ 7 } B K E N I N O T H W E Christine’s Story Christine Henderly, an employee in the Patient Accounts department at Firelands, uses knowledge of that need as her motivation to continually give blood. e first time she donated was in high school, when Sandusky High School was sponsoring a blood drive. “My assistant principal had recently lost his son in a car accident, and although my donating wasn’t able to directly help his son, I thought maybe it could help someone else,” said Christine. Since she first began donating at the Firelands blood drives five years ago, Christine has donated 28 pints. One pint of blood can be used for up to three people, so Christine has saved or improved the health of 84 people in the past five years. Why does she keep donating? “My motivation changes,” said Christine. “For a while it was for my cousin’s son who was very ill, or a little girl at my church, or a story I read in a magazine or saw online. I almost always have someone in mind that motivates me to be consistent in my donations. e emails that the American Red Christine Henderly and Marisa Munafo Cross sends out shows you a face that the blood donation helped, which is very powerful.” Marisa and Christine’s motivations are alike in that they both envision the people on the receiving end: not just emergency patients, but anyone who might need it. “Christine is a true hero,” Marisa said. “Her donations have saved lives and made people feel better, just like my Gina. Gina is now 25 years old and is doing well.” If you are thinking about giving blood for the first time, or you want to get back into a routine of giving blood, Christine recommends going online where you can find real stories of the impact blood donations can have in someone’s life. If you’re nervous about donating, go to a blood drive and see what they do, or talk to others who have donated. “e American Red Cross workers are experienced at what they do,” said Christine. “e process doesn’t take much time, and the discomfort you might feel is minimal, but the difference it makes in another person’s life is huge.” Stop the Bleed Campaign Comes to Firelands Seconds count during a severe bleeding event. In fact, a person who is bleeding can die from blood loss in less than five minutes. In an effort to encourage and educate bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency, Firelands Regional Medical Center is providing Stop the Bleed classes. Excessive bleeding is responsible for nearly 35% of pre-hospital deaths and 40% of deaths in the first 24 hours of a traumatic event, according to the National Trauma Institute. And when a traumatic event like a vehicle crash, fall, bombing, or mass shooting occurs, bystanders can be the first to step in to help while emergency medical services (EMS) are en route to the scene. “Participants can learn not only how and where to apply a tourniquet, but also get hands-on practice packing and applying pressure to open wounds on a mannequin,” said Marisa Munafo, BSN, RN, education specialist at Firelands Regional Medical Center. “In traumatic events, how many victims could be saved by bystanders who are educated about what to do? Most traumatic deaths come from blood loss, because people can bleed out in only a few minutes. If more bystanders are confident about how to help before EMS arrives,more lives can be saved.” Register for a class online at: Watch for the summer edition of Feel Better with Firelands to read a first-hand account of the class!