Ethnicity Helps Better Match Donors

0 February 16, 2018

MEDIC Regional Blood Center is gathering new information from each of its donors in order to best match the right donor to the right recipient. Beginning in February, all donors will be asked to voluntarily provide information about their ethnicity. This information is critically important to help MEDIC better manage its blood supply and get the right type of blood to the right hospital. Most donors know their basic blood type (e.g. O+, B+, A-), but most people don’t know about the hundreds of other proteins that can be found on their blood cells. For most people, these proteins don’t mean anything. There are many blood recipients in East Tennessee who receive blood regularly for blood diseases like sickle cell anemia. For these patients, these proteins matter. When they are exposed to one of the proteins that their body doesn’t recognize, they produce an antibody. This antibody sits quietly until that person receives another transfusion. If they receive blood with the same protein, their body — equipped with the new antibody — may attack the blood causing a transfusion reaction. For these patients, MEDIC has a special group of scientists who specially test blood going to someone who has received multiple transfusions. The best blood for these patients is blood that is as identical to theirs as possible. Sometimes these scientists have to test dozens of units of blood to find

0 October 23, 2017

The CEO of a MEDIC Regional Blood Center is being recognized for his decades of service to improving health care. The Greater Knoxville Business Journal named Jim Decker as a 2017 Health Care Hero. Decker won in the category of administrative excellence after being nominated by his peers. Decker has been leading MEDIC for the past ten years. He is one of only three CEO’s in the organization’s sixty year history. MEDIC provides tens of thousands of lifesaving blood products to 28 hospitals in the East Tennessee area thanks to the help of nearly 25,000 volunteer blood donors. Before coming to MEDIC, Decker served as a CEO and Administrator of several Tennessee hospitals. He earned his master’s of business administration from the University of Tennessee and his doctor of health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. Only seven people received a Health Care Hero award this year in various categories across the health care industry. Decker says, “I get gratification from the fact that I know what we’re doing is helping people on a daily basis. We’re an integral part of the health care system here locally because of the nature of what we do to make sure we have a sufficient blood supply. It’s important that we continue to operate and continue to be here to support the hospitals’ needs.” Decker is also on the board of Community Blood Centers Ex

Posted in In The News
0 November 10, 2016

On Monday, November 14th, MEDIC Regional Blood Center will implement new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration which includes testing all blood donations for the Zika Virus. The FDA required MEDIC and other blood centers to start testing after a rapid spread in the virus which is known to cause potentially fatal birth defects. The new testing is expected to be seamless for donors and staff. During each donation, the MEDIC phlebotomist takes three sample tubes that are tested for diseases like HIV, Hepatitis, and West Nile Virus. Those tubes are sent to a lab where the blood is tested to make sure it is safe enough to be transfused. That lab will now simply perform one additional test before the blood donation is released to local hospitals. “MEDIC has been preparing for this change over the past several months,” says spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel. “We are confident that we are ready to take this additional step to make sure our blood supply is as safe as possible.” For more information about the test, click here. Since all blood is now being tested for Zika, the travel deferrals the FDA implemented in February are being phased out. For the past several months, donors who had visited parts of South America, the Caribbean, or South Florida couldn’t donate blood for at lea

Posted in In The News
0 October 6, 2016

On Monday, October 10th, MEDIC Regional Blood Center is partnering with Ripley’s Haunted Adventure to help bring in life-saving blood donors! During this event, all blood donors will receive a pass for Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, a Free T-Shirt, and a coupon for a Free Appetizer from Texas Roadhouse. Donors who wish to participate can donate at any MEDIC location listed below. Monday, October 10th: Appalachian Underwriters, 800 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge  12pm – 4pm Big Lots, 264 E. Broadway, Jefferson City 12pm – 6pm Cumberland Medical Center, 421 S. Main Street, Crossville 10am – 4pm Shafer Insurance Agency, 1100 Marion Street, Knoxville 8am – 10:30am Walmart, 1815 Decatur Pike, Athens 1pm – 8pm Walmart, 3755 Andrew Johnson Hwy, Greeneville 12pm – 6pm MEDIC Knoxville Office, 1601 Ailor Avenue, Knoxville 8am – 6:30pm MEDIC Farragut Office, 11000 Kingston Pike Suite 9, Farragut 7:30am – 7pm MEDIC Crossville Office, 79 S. Main Street, Crossville 12pm – 6pm

0 August 31, 2016

MEDIC is once again partnering with the Tennessee Valley Fair. Anyone who donates lifesaving blood September 6-9 will receive a ticket for free admission to this year’s fair. Below is a list of locations: Tuesday (9/6): MEDIC in Knoxville 8:30am-6:30pm MEDIC Farragut 7:30am-6pm MEDIC Crossville Noon-6pm (CDT) Kingston Community Center, 10am – 5pm Maryville College, 10am – 4pm Midway IGA in Corryton, 12pm – 7pm PriceLess Foods in Newport, 3:30pm – 6:30pm Wednesday (9/7): MEDIC in Knoxville 8:30am-6:30pm MEDIC Farragut 6:30am-6pm MEDIC Crossville 8am-4pm (CDT) Blaine IGA, 12pm – 6pm City of Sevierville 200 Gary Wade Blvd, 12pm – 6pm Dotson Memorial Baptist Church in Maryville, 1pm- 7pm Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, 12pm – 6pm St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Morristown, 1pm – 7pm Walmart Clinton Hwy, 12pm – 6pm First Tennessee Plaza 800 S. Gay Street, 12pm-5pm Sloan’s of Vonore, 1pm-7pm Thursday (9/8): MEDIC in Knoxville 8:30am-6:30pm MEDIC Farragut 7:30am-6pm MEDIC Crossville Noon-6pm (CDT) Ingles in Powell, 12pm – 7pm Jacksboro United Methodist Church, 1pm- 7pm Walmart on Chapman Hwy, 1pm – 5pm Walmart in Madisonville, 1pm – 7pm Friday (9/9): MEDIC in Knoxville 8:30am-6:30pm MEDIC Farragut 6:30am-6pm MEDIC Crossville 8am-4pm (CDT) Blount Memorial Hospital, 12pm- 6pm Food City in Dandridge, 12pm – 6pm Food City on Morris Blvd in Morrist

0 August 15, 2016

For the first time ever, blood centers from across the world are uniting to bring attention to a major problem that is affecting nearly every part of the globe including East Tennessee. MEDIC Regional Blood Center is participating in the Missing Type campaign to highlight a nearly 30% decrease in the number of new blood donors over the past decade. Blood centers report that the number of first time blood donors in 2005 topped 1.8 million people. In 2015, that number fell to 1.3 million. Yet with three people receiving blood every second globally, the need for new blood donors is greater than ever. Throughout the campaign, the letters A, B and O will disappear. The campaign will primarily be driven through social media, but it will also include the letters from some iconic landmarks and locations all over the world. Celebrities and companies will also be participating in the effort by removing the letters from their posts, pictures, and logos on social media. “We really hope people in East Tennessee will be inspired by the Missing Type campaign and start saving lives by becoming blood donors,” said MEDIC spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is helping kickoff the campaign by taking a photograph with missing letters in his name and title. This campaign isn’t just for celebrities and companies, however. Ultimately, its purpose is to inspire a grassr

Posted in In The News
0 June 16, 2016

MEDIC would like to thank two of our very special donors. This week, Donna and Doug Clevenger came by our office to donate platelets on their 26th wedding anniversary! The Clevengers have turned blood donation into a family affair – their son has been donating with them regularly for several years and their daughter will start donating in a few months when she turns 16. Doug says his father encouraged him to donate from a young age and that he is glad to donate now in honor of his father who has recently become too ill to donate blood. MEDIC is so thankful for families like theirs. Happy Anniversary, Doug and Donna! Thank you for spending your special day with MEDIC! Click here to learn more about donating platelets or to make an appointment.

Posted in In The News
0 February 3, 2016

New travel restrictions are going into effect for blood donors who have recently traveled to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Anyone who has traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, and/or Central or South America in the last 28 days, is being asked not to donate blood. Donors are asked to return to donate if they are feeling healthy and have not been in one of the affected areas for at least 28 days. Zika virus infection is mild in most people, but there is concern that Zika is causing serious brain injury to infants whose mothers have been infected during pregnancy. Zika can be present in the blood of an infected person who has no symptoms of illness. Donors who have questions about their eligibility can call 865-524-3074. Visit the CDC website, for more information on the Zika Virus.

0 January 16, 2016

MEDIC Regional Blood Center is teaming up with Food City, Star 102.1, and WATE 6 On Your Side to encourage those in East Tennessee to roll up their sleeves and give lifesaving blood. Roll Up Your Sleeve week is hosted every January at a time when blood inventory tends to be low. This year, MEDIC’s inventory is near critical levels. Everyone is asked to donate blood regardless of their blood type. Food City is hosting MEDIC at 21 of their East Tennessee area stores across 13 counties. To help encourage people to donate blood, one person at each Food City hosted blood drive will win a $50 Food City gift card. At the end of the week, every blood donor will be entered into another drawing for a $500 Food City gift card. Additionally, each person who donates blood will receive a MEDIC Roll Up Your Sleeve t-shirt and a coupon for a free appetizer from Texas Roadhouse. “Right now we don’t have the blood supply we need,” said MEDIC spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel. “If you’re a regular blood donor, please come in and donate. If you can’t give blood but want to help, please encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to participate. “ In addition to the locations at Food City stores, WATE 6 On Your Side is also hosting a MEDIC blood drive. One donor who gives blood there will also win a $50 Food City gift card. Below is a list of all of the Roll Up Your Sleeve blood dri

0 November 2, 2015

The University of Tennessee Volunteers easily tamed the University of Kentucky Wildcats in October, but the competition between these rivals isn’t over yet. The 28th Annual Battle of the Orange and Blue is scheduled for November 16th-20th. The event is a partnership between MEDIC Regional Blood Center in Knoxville and the Kentucky Blood Center in Lexington. The two centers compete to see who can get the most donors to give lifesaving blood. Currently, Kentucky donors hold a 14-12-1 lead over Tennessee including wins the past five years. In an effort to turn things around this year, MEDIC is partnering with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. All donors who give blood during Orange and Blue will receive a free ticket to Fantasy of Trees, the annual fundraising event at the Knoxville Convention Center that benefits Children’s Hospital. Donors also receive a special edition Orange and Blue 2015 t-shirt and coupons for a free, small one-topping pizza from Papa John’s and a free appetizer from Texas Roadhouse. In an effort to reach as many donors as possible, MEDIC is hosting a record 43 blood drives in 16 East Tennessee counties. Those include: Monday, November 16th MEDIC Knoxville Donor Center – 1601 Ailor Avenue, 8am-6:30pm MEDIC Farragut Donor Center – 11000 Kingston Pike, 7am-6:30pm MEDIC Crossville Donor Center – 79 S.