Versiti Blood Center of Illinois issued an emergency appeal for blood donations of all blood types, especially type O-negative and O-positive, as the center currently has less than a day’s supply of blood.
"We are urgently seeking help from our loyal donors and the public and asking that anyone able to please donate blood today," said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical director at Versiti, in a statement. "Your donation is vital to ensure that Illinois hospitals have the blood they need for their patients."
The blood center is down more than 40% in donations, nearly 20,000 units of blood, compared to a typical year.
Dr. Waxman said that as COVID restrictions ease and people focus on returning to pre-pandemic life, "the attention has shifted away from blood donation, creating a crisis for the state’s blood supply."
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One donation of blood can take less than one hour, with the actual donation taking five to 10 minutes, and helps save up to three lives, the blood center said.
O-negative and O-positive donors are needed the most, Versiti Blood Center said. O-negative blood is the universal blood type, meaning it can be transfused to all patients.
Beginning June 14 through June 21, Versiti is expanding capacity limits and extending hours at its centers to try to help the crisis.
Donors who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face mask, but non-vaccinated donors are asked to continue to wear one, except when medical conditions prevent them from doing so, Versiti said.
Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are welcome, according to the blood center.
Donors can visit any center nearest to them:
- Westomont: 6317 S. Fairview
- Tinley Park: 16100 Centennial Circle
- Bloomingdale: 204 Gary Ave.
- 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 St.
To schedule an appointment or for more information, visit https://donate.illinois.versiti.org/donor/auth/signin