Blood donors are needed to help with shortage
Vitalant, Chicagoland's largest blood center, is facing an emergency need for blood and platelets due to an increase in patient utilization, coupled with a significant shortfall of blood donations during the Fourth of July holiday week, a decrease of donors visiting area donor centers, and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.
A concern that is now being felt across the entire country, Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) is urging eligible individuals to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer.
With fewer blood donors and fewer blood drives during the Independence Day holiday week, Vitalant now has a critical need for blood donors to help ensure that area hospital needs are met.
Right now, Vitalant has less than a day of group O positive and negative and less than two days for other negative blood groups.
Blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in and more donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply.
Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S., and blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only three out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood.
"Unlike many other lifesaving medical treatments, blood donations cannot be stockpiled," said Vitalant-Illinois Regional Director Eva Quinley. "Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just 5 days."
Vitalant urges both existing and first-time donors of all blood types to visit vitalant.org or call (877) 25-VITAL to schedule an appointment at an area community donation center or at a mobile blood drive.
Some of the local community donor centers are located in: Arlington Heights: 25 W. Rand Road, Arlington Annex Shopping Center; Crystal Lake: 5150 Northwest Hwy.; Glenview: 2510 Waukegan Road; Gurnee: 5250-1 Grand Ave.; Lake Bluff: 223 Waukegan Road; Naperville: 2764 Aurora Ave.; Schaumburg: 211 W. Golf Road; Villa Park: 100 E. Roosevelt Road, Suite 40-41; and Westmont: 1133 Fairview Ave.
Walk-ins are welcome at any of the locations.
Vitalant is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states.
Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant's 780,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year.
In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more.
To get details or schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call (877) 258-4825.