Urgent need for O Negative blood donors

By on February 3, 2012

AURORA—Heartland Blood Centers, a nonprofit medical organization servicing 38 area hospitals, is struggling to meet the needs of patients with O Negative blood type in area hospitals.

Cancelled blood drives, low donor appointments, and donors reporting illnesses, which prevent them from donating blood, has resulted in declined O Negative blood inventories. Blood donors are needed now to help offset this shortage.

“We are appealing to all O Negative blood donors to visit one of our centers or community blood drives immediately so that others may get the treatment they need. 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,” said Ann McKanna, vice president of marketing and new business development. “We also need blood donors of all blood types to continue to donate to maintain adequate levels of all blood types.”

Patients in Heartland’s member hospitals rely solely on volunteer blood donors for life-saving transfusions. Every day, nearly 600 pints of blood are transfused to patients in the 12 counties supplied by Heartland Blood Centers.

Blood donors can schedule a time to give by calling 1-800-7 TO GIVE. Donors can also visit www.heartlandbc.org for listings of blood drives in the community and listings of 17 center locations.

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 to determine eligibility.