Diverse donor base critical for adequate blood supply


February is Black History Month, and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, the first medical director of an American Red Cross blood bank, the Red Cross reminds eligible donors of the importance of a diverse blood supply.

Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with the same ethnicity. Prior to transfusion, blood type and Rh factor are matched. Oftentimes additional red cell markers in donated blood must be matched as well. Such markers are determined by ethnicity and best found in a diverse donor base.

Donors of all types are encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Appointments to give blood can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Cook County

Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Loyola University Center for Fitness, 2160 S. First Ave. in Maywood, Ill.

Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bartlett Commons, 5640 S. University in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bartlett Commons, 5640 S. University in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 7 from 12-6 p.m. at Northwestern University Phi Kappa Psi, 2247 Sheridan in Evanston, Ill.

Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.

 

DuPage County

Feb. 1 from 1-4:30 p.m. at Evangelical Covenant Church, Fourth and Garfield in Hinsdale, Ill.

 

Kankakee County

Feb. 6 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Feb. 13 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.

 

Will County

Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt in Joliet, Ill.

Feb. 6 from 1-6 p.m. at Life Time Fitness, 1220 Lakeview Drive in Romeoville, Ill.

 

How to donate blood: Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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.

 

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.