Versiti Blood Center of Illinois Issues Emergency Appeal for Blood Donations
State’s blood supply at a dangerously low point, putting patients at risk
Versiti Blood Center of Illinois has issued an emergency appeal for blood donations, pleading with community members to make an appointment to donate blood in the coming days. Heading into the fall, Versiti has seen a drastic drop in scheduled appointments, with nearly 2,500 open appointments over the next seven days.
“This is the lowest our blood inventory has been in over a year, which could mean that blood is not available when it’s needed the most,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti. “We are seeing fewer first-time donors walking through our doors, which is adding to an already dangerous situation, and we need the community to step up and donate.” Versiti estimates that around 20 percent of its donors are first-time donors; unfortunately, more than 50 percent of those donors only donate once. With an aging donor base and increased need, first-time blood donors are desperately needed.
"Our loyal donors continue to hear our pleas and roll up their sleeves, for which we are extremely grateful," added Dr. Waxman. "However, if every eligible donor could pledge to donate at least twice by the end of the year and encourage a friend or family member to give blood donation a try as well, the impact on the local blood supply would be significant and save lives.”
While Versiti strives for a three-day supply of available blood for local hospitals, the organization currently has less than a one-day supply on the shelves. Not only does this potentially put people's lives at risk, but it limits the ability to respond to the need for blood should the unexpected occur.
What to know about blood donation
- Every two seconds, someone needs lifesaving blood to survive. One donation can save up to three lives.
- The donation process, including registration and testing, takes about an hour. Because your body constantly replaces blood and fluids, blood donation doesn't take a major toll on the human body.
- There is no substitute for blood donation — blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come from volunteer donors.
- Roughly 68 percent of Americans can donate blood, but only about 3 percent do so.
- Blood donation can help patients of all ages who are victims of traumatic accidents, patients of organ transplants, or fighting through diseases like cancer.
All blood types are needed, with types O-positive and O-negative most in demand. O-positive is the most common blood type, while O-negative blood is the universal type that can be received safely by all patients in emergencies when the blood type is unknown.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call (800) 786-4483 or visit versiti.org. Walk-in donors are also welcome.
Donor center locations:
- WESTMONT: 6317 S. Fairview
- TINLEY PARK: 16100 Centennial Circle
- BLOOMINGDALE: 398 W. Army Trail Rd.
- NAPERVILLE: 1297 S. Naper Blvd.
- WINFIELD: 27W281 Geneva Rd.
- JOLIET: 2625 W. Jefferson St.
- GENEVA: 2000 W. State St., Unit 1E
- AURORA: 1200 N. Highland Ave.
- ELGIN: 1140 N. McLean Blvd.
- CRYSTAL LAKE: 6296 Northwest Hwy.
- YORKVILLE: 728 E. Veterans Pkwy., Suite 112
- DEKALB: 2428 Sycamore Rd.
- HIGHLAND: 2126 45th Street
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 16 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
# # #
About Versiti Blood Center of Illinois
Versiti Blood Center of Illinois is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Aurora, IL., that specializes in blood products and services and provides expert medical and technical support. Founded in 1943, it is the oldest blood center in Illinois and serves patients at more than 85 hospitals in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. It operates 12 donor centers and conducts nearly 2,200 blood drives annually at area hospitals, churches, businesses, schools and community centers. To learn more, visit versiti.org.