Since 1970, blood centers nationwide have strived to increase blood and platelet donations during the winter – one of the most challenging times of the year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs.
It’s a particularly critical issue in the month of January, as blood donations traditionally drop off on the heels of the holiday season.
“Thank you to our current donors for their lifesaving support as we recognize National Blood Donor Month,” said Lisa Entrikin, Chief Executive Officer at the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “We would not be able to save lives without your donations. If you have never given before, we are encouraging all eligible individuals to make it their New Year’s resolution to donate and make blood donation a habit in the new year.”
The need for blood is constant because it’s the blood on the shelves that saves lives. Only three percent of eligible Americans currently donate blood, despite 65 percent of the population being eligible to do so, according to the Association of Blood Donor Professionals (ADRP). Additionally, less than 20 percent of blood donations come from individuals in communities of color, and donations from individuals aged 19-24 have declined by nearly 32 percent from 2019 to 2021.
Locally, RRVBC needs to see 800 donors per week to supply blood to 14 hospitals in the region. Because blood has a short shelf-life, fresh donations must constantly be collected.
Individuals feeling healthy and well are encouraged to schedule a donation appointment at rrvbc.org, on the myRRVBC app, or by calling 815-965-8751. Organizations also are encouraged to call about hosting blood drives to help support the community need.
About Rock River Valley Blood Center
The Rock River Valley Blood Center is your community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital-Rockton, Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside, Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Harvard, Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center-Janesville, Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Walworth, Mercyhealth Hospital and Physician Clinic–Crystal Lake, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital, UW Belvidere Medical Center, UW Carbone Cancer Center Rockford, Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN Memorial Hospital and Rochelle Community Hospital. The center has four convenient donor centers in Rockford, Belvidere, and Freeport and the ability to support up to three mobile drives a day. The Rock River Valley Blood Center ensures that the right blood type is available at the right time for local patients whose lives may depend on it. Patients and their families rely on individuals to provide life-giving red blood cells, plasma, and platelets through blood donation.