Rock River Valley Blood Center continues to deal with a blood shortage, leading to another urgent call for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

Donor traffic is down approximately 13 percent over the last 4 weeks, resulting in about 350 fewer donations than expected.

Cold and flu season has hit this area hard, and it is impacting the ability of donors to donate. “When people have fevers and flu symptoms, they are not able to donate. That means we have an even smaller pool of willing people from which to supply area patients,” said Jennifer Bowman, RRVBC.

All eligible donors are encouraged to make and keep donation appointments.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important to have a steady supply of platelets on hand.

Every day this month blood donors will receive an online coupon for a free medium 1-topping pizza or cheese sticks from Papa John’s. Donors are also automatically entered to win 1 of 6 grand prizes including Pizza for a Year!

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 815-965-8751or visit

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health Systems, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, Mercyhealth Hospital—Rockton Avenue, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.