Versiti Blood Center of Illinois issues emergency appeal for blood donations; blood types O-negative, O-positive most needed
Versiti issues emergency appeal for donations
Versiti Blood Center of Illinois is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations as communities across the state face a potential crisis with blood supplies dropping to critically low levels. All blood types are needed, with type O-negative and O-positive blood most in demand.
"As COVID-19 restrictions ease, allowing people to gather again and enjoy all that an Illinois summer has to offer, the attention has shifted away from blood donation, creating a crisis for the state's blood supply," said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti.
"We are urgently seeking help from our loyal donors and the public and asking that anyone able to please donate blood today. Your donation is vital to ensure that Illinois hospitals have the blood they need for their patients."
In Illinois, the state's blood supply has dropped to a critically low level. There is less than a day's supply of lifesaving blood on shelves to supply Versiti's more than 86 hospital partners throughout the state. Ideally, Versiti strives for a three-day supply of blood available to its partner hospitals.
Compared to a typical year, Versiti Blood Centers is down more than 40% in donations -- or nearly 20,000 units of blood -- while the need for blood has increased nearly 10% over historical averages.
Blood donors are needed now to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for Illinoisans who need it. One donation of blood, which takes less than one hour, can help save up to three lives.
O-negative and O-positive blood donors are most needed now. O-negative blood is the universal blood type, meaning donations can be transfused to all patients, including trauma victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.
This week Versiti is expanding capacity and extending hours at its centers:
• Westmont: 6317 S. Fairview;
• Tinley Park: 16100 Centennial Circle;
• Bloomingdale: 204 Gary Ave.;
• Naperville: 1297 S. Naper Blvd.;
• Winfield: 27W281 Geneva Road;
• Joliet: 2625 W. Jefferson St.;
• Geneva: 2000 W. State St., Unit 1E;
• Aurora: 1200 N. Highland Ave.;
• Elgin: 1140 N. McLean Blvd.;
• Crystal Lake: 6296 Northwest Hwy.;
• Yorkville: 728 E. Veterans Pkwy., Suite 112;
• DeKalb: 2428 Sycamore Road; and
• Highland: 2126 45th St.
Illinois residents can also make an appointment to donate at a local community blood drive in their area. Times, dates and locations of upcoming local drives can be found online at donate.illinois.versiti.org.
Interested donors should click the "Schedule to Donate" tab to find the nearest drive to them.
Donating blood takes about an hour with the actual donation taking about 10 minutes. Anyone 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
Donors who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering while in Versiti facilities.
Non-vaccinated donors are asked to continue to wear a face covering, except where medical conditions prevent them from wearing one. All Versiti donation locations are practicing social distancing and closely adhering to FDA and CDC cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Appointments are encouraged at any of Versiti's Illinois donor centers or any local community blood drive. Walk-ins are always welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call (866) 642-5663 or visit Versiti online at versiti.org.
Versiti Blood Center of Illinois is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Aurora that specializes in blood products and services, and provides expert medical and technical support.
Founded in 1943, it is the oldest blood center in Illinois and serves patients at 86 hospitals in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. It operates 13 donor centers and conducts nearly 2,200 blood drives annually at area hospitals, churches, businesses, schools and community centers.
To learn more, visit versiti.org.