Blood supply faces seasonal shortage

Woman gets prepped for blood donation

According to the American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois, winter weather, an active cold and flu season, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributed to a shortage of 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December. It’s part of the seasonal shortage affecting blood supply nationwide.

The University of Chicago Medicine receives most of its blood products for patients, including blood and platelets, from the American Red Cross. A critical amount also comes from the UChicago Medicine & Biological Sciences Division and university blood donor community.

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To help UChicago Medicine maintain its blood supply during the seasonal shortage, the Blood Donation Center encourages faculty, staff and community members to donate blood in early 2018.

“Maintaining an ample supply of blood means that we can provide seamless care to our patients,” said Debi Albert, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer. “We urge everyone to help us meet this vital challenge.”

The Blood Donation Center is open year round from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. The center is located in DCAM 2E, just before the skybridge to the Center for Care and Discovery.

Donors should call (773) 702-6247 for more information or to schedule an appointment (walk-in appointments are also available during operating hours). Donors are encouraged to drink plenty of water prior to donating. The Blood Donation Center can provide nutritious snacks.

“Blood and platelet donations are urgently needed in the coming days so that patients in hospitals around the country and right here in the Chicago area can continue to receive lifesaving treatments,” said American Red Cross of Chicago and northern Illinois Chief Communications Officer Joy Squier. “Right now, donations are being distributed faster than they come in, so we are asking people of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and help people in their community as well as patients across the nation.”