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posted: 1/10/2013 8:52 AM

Adventist Blood Center promotes January donations with prize drawing

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By Chris LaFortune
Adventist Health Midwest

A lucky blood donor will receive a Samsun Galaxy tablet as part of Adventist Lab Partners Blood Center's efforts to promote National Blood Donor Month in January. The winner will be chosen in a drawing.

Second prize will be a gift certificate for dinner, while third prize will be a $50 gas card, said JoEllyn Bross, regional donor recruiter.

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Appointments are suggested for anyone interested in donating at the blood center, but walk-ins are welcome, she said.

To donate blood or platelets, donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parent or guardian written permission); must weigh at least 110 pounds; should eat a well-balanced meal within four hours of donating; should be in general good health; and have a photo ID at the time of donation.

"Sixty percent of the population can donate blood, but only 5 percent do," Bross said. "That breaks my heart. If one more percent of the population would donate, blood shortages would completely go away."

Those interested in donating can call the Adventist Lab Partners Blood Center at (630) 856-7840. Located at 121 N. Elm St., Hinsdale, the center is open 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The blood center supplies blood for Adventist Bolingbrook, Adventist GlenOaks, Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist LaGrange Memorial hospitals.

Using more than 12,000 pints of blood each year, the hospitals must purchase blood from larger organizations if the Hinsdale center is unable to collect enough.

Bross' goal in 2012 was to have 2,000 donors. She expects to fall just shy of that, but said last year was an increase from the 1,546 donors in 2011.

But the donations provide only 50 percent of what is used at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. The ultimate goal is to provide the blood products needed for all of the Adventist Midwest Health hospitals.

In addition to holding drives at the Adventist hospitals, Adventist Lab Partners Blood Center will come out to businesses that want to host a blood drive. Those interested should call (630) 856-7840 and ask for Bross.

January is one of the most difficult months for blood centers across the country, with donors going on vacation or cold and flu spreading around potential donors.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 to promote blood donation during this particularly needy time.

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