Published by Kirby Winn on Thursday, June 23, 2022 in News Releases
ImpactLife is joining blood providers across the country in reporting critically low blood inventory levels and is now appealing to all current and potential donors to schedule donations in support of our region’s blood supply. To help increase appointments in the week before Fourth of July, ImpactLife will give donors who come to ImpactLife Donor Centers a voucher to redeem for a $20 electronic gift card Monday, June 27 through Monday, July 4. (Outside of this time frame and on all mobile blood drives, donors will receive a voucher for a $10 e-gift card or 500 points to use in the ImpactLife Donor Rewards Store.)
To schedule an appointment for donation, call (800) 747-5401 or schedule online at www.bloodcenter.org, or via the Blood Center's mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
“The week ahead may well be the most challenging week of the year for our region’s blood supply,” said Amanda Hess, Vice President, Donor and Public Relations. “We have seen low donation rates since Memorial Day and Fourth of July is just ahead. Now is time to donate and make sure blood is ‘on the shelves’ at our local hospitals, ready to transfuse at a moment’s notice.”
To provide optimally for the 124 hospitals the blood center serves, ImpactLife seeks to maintain a five-day supply of all blood components. But with the donation rate consistently low for several weeks in a row, type O (positive and negative) red blood cells are at just a one-day supply. Other blood types have consistently been at a 2- to 3-day supply since the beginning of June.
Blood and platelet donations are used to support ongoing, routine use at local hospitals while a reserve is needed in case of a spike in demand due to large scale emergency or mass trauma. Hess notes that such events may require activation of the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (www.bloodcenter.org/BERC), a national group of blood providers that ImpactLife joined earlier this year, pledging mutual aid across the U.S. in times of crisis. “When it comes to disaster response, the donations made before a crisis always make the greatest difference,” stated Hess.
Blood Donors Make a Difference: the Rudzki Family
We are so thankful for blood donors as it helped save our oldest son! Our family wouldn't be the same without him. Selfless acts of kindness matter in this world!
~Cliff, Nikki, Marek & Truman
Reasons behind the decline in donations
Hess cites several factors that have negatively influenced our region’s blood supply, namely a decrease in the number and frequency of mobile blood drives, staffing issues leading to scheduling challenges, and fluctuating rates of illness within the blood center’s service region. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile blood drives accounted for about 60% of the blood center’s donations. But with blood drive cancellations that began in 2020, fewer donors have had the opportunity to give blood at mobile events. While some donors have shifted donation patterns from mobile blood drives to Donor Centers, the fixed site locations have not been able to entirely make up for the shortfall in donations.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit community organization providing blood services to 124 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. Services extend from southcentral Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. (See a map of the ImpactLife service region.) ImpactLife operates 22 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals throughout our region.
For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and find us @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.
For additional facts and infographics about the blood supply, see www.bloodcenter.org/about/news/images