Buckhannon Rotarians learn about fasting before blood tests

Buckhannon Rotarians said they would like to advise all those who are interested in having their blood screened at the Buckhannon Rotary blood screenings this month that fasting for 12 hours prior to the tests is necessary for accurate results.

If an individual eats less than 12 hours prior to having the blood test, their results could miss the mark and even resemble results that ordinarily depict health problems that might not exist, said Rotarian Don Nestor during a meeting this week.

Gayle Rowan, a medical laboratory technician for St. Joseph’s Hospital, said that for health reasons, not all participants in the blood screenings may be able to fast. She said some individuals may have medicines that require food to be taken with them. Any patients who have a question about if they can fast should consult a doctor prior to the test, Rowan said.

Two separate screenings will take place this month. Anyone age 5 or older may attend one of the screenings, which will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. April 13 and 27 at the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

The basic blood profile test is $35. Other optional tests may be added to the cost of the basic test. Thyroid tests are available for another $5, colon cancer screenings are an additional $5 and Hemoglobin A1C tests for diabetes are an additional $15. Men also can be screened for prostate cancer for an additional $20. Cash or personal checks are accepted. No appointments are necessary.

All results must now be sent to a physician. Anyone interested in the tests should be able to provide their doctor’s name and contact information. According to the blood screening flier, the option to forward the test results to an individual’s home is no longer an option. Test takers can, however, sign a medical release form to access the same results seen by the doctor. For more information, anyone interested can call 304-473-2138.

Nestor also told Rotarians how important the blood screening was as a fundraiser that helps give back to the local community. He said Buckhannon Rotary raises $50,000 to $60,000 yearly to donate toward projects in the community. Donations during the past 10 years have totaled $590,719, according to a donation summary Nestor provided.

“This is a really key thing for our club and our community,” Nestor said. “This is a win-win. Everybody benefits from this. The money goes back into the community.”

In the past five years, Buckhannon Rotary has supported 95 different local groups with contributions totaling more than $260,000. The organization has helped fund the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, the American Legion Boys State, Adopt-A-Highway, Buckhannon Academy Elementary School, Beyond Borders, the American Lung Association, Boy Scouts of America, Boy Scout Troop 128 and Buckhannon-Upshur Wrestling.

The Buckhannon Rotary contributions also have aided the city of Buckhannon, Jawbone Park, Red Ribbon, the Buckhannon city flower project and the city beautification project. It has supported Buckhannon-Upshur High School’s band, swim team, horticultural project, essay contest, band boosters, Interact, lacrosse, pride club presentation, show choir and sign fund.

The organization’s contributions also have spread to the Buckhannon Community Theater, the Buckhannon Police Department, the Buckhannon-Upshur calculator grant, the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, the Buckhannon-Upshur Hi-Y, Buckhannon-Upshur Young Life, Chanticleer Chorus, the Children’s Festival, Camp Horseshoe, Camp Tommy, the Christmas Store, Chuck Connor Ripley, Crosslines, the Family Resource Network, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Strawberry Festival, Habitat for Humanity, funeral flowers, Main Street Arts Cooperative, Mountaineer Food Bank, Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County, Polio Plus, the Future Educators of America and the Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care.

Numerous other businesses and organizations also have received a contribution in the past five years.