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Cold, snowy weather taking toll on blood supply

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

The cold and snowy weather has dealt a blow to the area’s blood supply.

“This winter, blood collections are down from last year because of the weather,” said Jill Moeggenberg, the Heartland Blood Centers spokeswoman. “We need healthy blood donors to donate as soon as possible.”

The independent, nonprofit blood center serves 49 hospitals in a 12-county region in Illinois and Indiana, including Delnor Hospital in Geneva and Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora.

More than 2,000 units of blood have been lost in January because of the weather, along with an increase in illness-related cancellations, Moeggenberg said. January is National Blood Donor Month, and the need for blood is especially urgent because it is the highest transfusion month of the year.

“There are no snow days for patients in the hospital,” she said. “They still need blood transfusions.”

To meet the needs of the 49 hospitals served by the Heartland Blood Centers, almost 600 units of blood are needed every day. Individuals can donate blood every 56 days. To be a blood donor, people 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.

“We want to thank our loyal blood donors,” Moeggenberg said. “We need all blood types at this time.”

Information about how to give blood is available at Heartland Blood Centers’ website at www.heartlandbc.org.

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Want to give blood? Go to www.heartlandbc.org for more information.

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