Blood supply dangerously low due to winter storm

By on February 11, 2011

AURORA—The recent severe winter weather and dropping temperatures have affected blood inventories for patients being treated in area hospitals.

Heartland Blood Centers is reporting an urgent need for blood donors to rebuild blood inventories that have plummeted due to the winter storm. Heartland, like most organizations, was closed Feb. 2, and as a result lost a full day of blood collections, yet continued to ship blood products to hospitals which further depleted blood inventories. To compound the problem, Tuesday collections were very low due to the weather, and Heartland reported numerous cancellations on that Thursday, as well. Heartland needs 600 volunteer blood donors every day in order to meet the transfusion demands of patients in their 38 member hospitals.

All healthy community members who are eligible to donate blood should reschedule their cancelled appointments. All other eligible donors are asked to make an appointment as soon as possible. Go to www.heartlandbc.org for a complete listing of blood drives in your community, and the 17 Heartland center locations.

“We are pleading for all eligible donors who can safely make it to one of our centers or community blood drives to please do so immediately so that others may get the treatment they need,” said Ann McKanna, vice president of marketing and new business development. “If you have never given blood, or have not done so in the past few months, please consider giving blood now for those in your community who need your help.”

Donors can schedule a time to give by calling 1-800-7 TO GIVE. Donors can also visit www.heartlandbc.org to schedule an appointment and find listings of blood drives in the community and the 17 Heartland center locations. Blood drive sponsors and donors also have the opportunity to join Heartland’s Four Seasons Club or Lifesaver Club and earn premium gifts on Heartland’s website.

To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7-TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.