Heartland Blood Centers issues critical appeal for donors
Summer comes every year and with it, blood banks can always count on a decrease in blood donations, however, this year the difference is being felt more dramatically due to higher than normal levels of blood usage.
Heartland Blood Centers, supplying blood and blood products to approximately 60 percent of the inpatient beds in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana area is issuing an appeal to all healthy and eligible people to add blood donation to your to-do list immediately.
"June collections were below required levels by more than 25 percent," said Amy Smith, director of donor recruitment for Heartland Blood Centers. "This coupled with ongoing trauma situations, including several liver transplants and pregnancy complications, has put a critical strain on the supply here in Chicago. If you have been watching the news, this is not only a Chicagoland problem, but a national problem. We are in crisis and we need you to donate now."
Of the 70-plus hospitals supplied by Heartland Blood Centers, approximately one-third have Level 1 or Level 2 trauma status. These elite Chicago institutions serve children, expectant mothers, cardiac patients, cancer survivors and trauma patients and rely on Heartland.
Dr. Alexander Carterson, M.D., Ph.D., medical director for Heartland Blood Centers, adds, "Being the largest blood center in Chicago serving cutting edge medical centers is a serious responsibility that we accept and fulfill because of your commitment to blood donation. This summer we have seen an uptick in unexpected usage and I urge any person that has had a loved one who has received blood to give now so that other families will also be able to receive the lifesaving transfusions that they need."
In addition to regular center hours Thursday and Friday, select center locations will offer extended hours Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Aurora, Tinley Park, Geneva, Joliet, Naperville and Winfield centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 14.
On Sunday, July 16, the centers in Aurora, Tinley Park, Elgin, Naperville, DeKalb and Winfield will be open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Heartland also has various mobile blood drives available and a complete list can be viewed when you visit www.heartlandbc.org.
Because of the seriousness of the situation, Heartland Blood Centers needs to schedule 25 emergency blood drives within the next two weeks. "In times of crisis it is crucial that we all do our part to help those in our community who are in need. The members of your local community depend on your support," adds Michelle Robinson, president of Heartland Blood Centers."
If you can help fill this vital need, call (630) 301-6176.
As a thank you for your lifesaving donation, July 13-17, all center and mobile blood donors will receive a $10 Target gift card. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 786-4483, text APPT to 444-999 or go online at www.heartlandbc.org.
Heartland Blood Centers, established in 1943, is a nonprofit, independent blood center serving the Greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. Heartland operates under a volunteer donor system with the goal of collecting more than 200,000 units of blood annually. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (800) 7-TO-GIVE.
Heartland Donor Centers• Aurora, 1200 N. Highland Ave.;
• Bloomingdale, 204 Gary Avenue;
• Crystal Lake, 6296 Northwest Highway;
• DeKalb, 2428 Sycamore Road;
• Elgin, 1140 N. McLean Blvd.;
• Geneva, 2000 Route 38;
• Highland, Ind., 2126 45th St.;
• Joliet, 121 Springfield;
• Naperville, 1297 S. Naper Blvd.;
• Tinley Park, 16100 Centennial Circle;
• Westmont, 6317 S. Fairview;
• Winfield, 27W281 Geneva Road;
• Yorkville, 728 Veterans Pkwy., Suite 112.
To schedule an appointment, call (800) 786-4483, text APPT to 444-999 or go online at www.heartlandbc.org.