Chicago-area blood supply at risk due to lack of donations

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In Lansing, Vitalant (formerly known as LifeSource) is located at 2 River Place. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Cancellation of scheduled blood drives results in loss of thousands of needed units of blood

information provided by Vitalant

CHICAGO, Ill. (March 22, 2020) – As Chicagoans are taking extra precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) and other health officials say the need for blood donations throughout the entire area is urgent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of contracting COVID-19 is currently low. Due to the nature of the virus, it is highly unlikely that it can be transmitted through blood transfusions.

The area’s largest blood supplier has seen a near-100% cancellation rate of scheduled blood drives through the end of the month and a resulting loss of thousands of units of blood that normally are earmarked for hospitals’ shelves.

While mobile blood drives are being canceled, Vitalant continues to operate 17 community donor centers located in the city and suburbs and has extended its hours of operations to make it easier for donors.

Healthy people are strongly encouraged to make a blood donation appointment by calling 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) or going online to vitalant.org.

The blood collection process is safe. In addition to the vigorous FDA-mandated testing of all blood components donated, Vitalant staff follow rigorous safety and disinfection protocols at its blood drives and donation centers. Giving blood has no impact on the donor’s immune system.

In Lansing, Vitalant (formerly known as LifeSource) is located at 2 River Oaks Drive. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)