The following press release comes from Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. Due to the extreme cold during the holiday season, the blood supply has lessened significantly. Area donor centers include Burlington, Galesburg, and Macomb (1520 W Jackson St). Donors may find a nearby Donor Center or mobile blood drive by calling (800) 747-5401 or by scheduling online at www.bloodcenterimpact.org
"The supply of blood components available for patient transfusions at local hospitals has dropped significantly due to the combination of holidays, extreme cold, and illness across the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center service region in late December and early January. With more moderate temperatures in the forecast and a spike in blood utilization to treat trauma patients, officials at MVRBC urge all eligible donors to help the blood supply recover by scheduling an appointment to donate in the coming days.
The demand for blood remains constant year-round, but the rate of blood donation has decreased over the last three weeks due to the holidays, extreme cold, and widespread illness. From the days leading up to Christmas until after New Year’s Day, MVRBC’s schedule of mobile blood drives is greatly reduced and many donors too busy to schedule an appointment until after the holidays. This year, extreme cold between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and during the first week of the year has led to blood drive cancellations and a decrease in the Blood Center’s appointment show-rate.
“Patient need at the hospitals we serve never stops,” said Amanda Hess, Director, Donor Relations. “We’re asking donors to help us have a strong recovery from the cold snap to help make sure we can provide a steady blood supply for our local hospitals.”
With Donor Centers in Galesburg, Burlington, and Macomb, MVRBC is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to 86 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, including OSF St. Mary Medical Center (Galesburg), OSF Holy Family Medical Center (Monmouth) and McDonough District Hospital (Macomb). Potential donors are asked to find a convenient time to donate by calling MVRBC’s Donor Scheduling team at (563) 359-5401 or (800) 747-5401.
To recognize donors who provide this lifesaving resource during the month of January, the blood center will provide all registered donors with a voucher that can be redeemed (online or by phone) for the donor’s choice of a knit beanie (cap) featuring the MVRBC logo or a $5 electronic gift card for Starbucks coffee (email delivery). Vouchers will be distributed at mobile blood drives through January 14 and at MVRBC Donor Centers through the end of the month.
Blood donation is a safe, simple procedure that takes about 45 minutes to one hour. A photo I.D. or MVRBC Donor Card is required to donate. All persons age 17 and up (or 16, with a signed parental permission form) who weigh at least 110 lbs. and are in general good health meet the basic eligibility requirements for blood donation."