The American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to donate blood this spring to ensure a sufficient supply for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.
Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a double red cell donation, where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red blood cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Double red cell donors must meet additional eligibility criteria, which will be determined at the donation appointment.
Debbie Cody-Nabors is a blood donor who gives double red cells. Her mother received transfusions twice a week during treatment for aplastic anemia. “I donate blood as often as I can in memory of my mom,” she said. “Please donate blood if you can to help save lives as you never know when you’ll be on the receiving end.”
Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O, A negative and B negative. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and double red cells may be donated every 112 days, up to three times per year.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
4/16/2016: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., North Star Lodge #1, 809 E. 42nd Place
4/18/2016: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Regis Hall, 6340 N Winthrop Ave
4/19/2016: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Loyola University - Corboy Law Center, 25 East Pearson
4/25/2016: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Rush University Medical Center, 1650 West Harrison Street
4/25/2016: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., UIC- Student Leadership Development & Volunteer Services, 750 S. Halsted St., Student Center
4/28/2016: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Quaker Plaza, 555 West Monroe
4/24/2016: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., St. James Catholic Church, 22400 S. Torrence
4/17/2016: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Congregation Bnai Tikvah, 1558 Wilmot Rd.
4/18/2016: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., GatheringPoint Church, 897 W. Bourbonnais Pkwy.
4/28/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.