For more than a decade the Sterling community has joined the Sterling Community General Hospital and the American Red Cross in ensuring area patients have the blood products they need during the holidays. Those who want to take part in this lifesaving tradition can donate blood on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the hospital.
The need is constant and blood donations tend to decline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when people become busy with the holiday festivities. Donors help give hospital patients an opportunity to spend another holiday with their loved ones.
“Sterling area donors have donated more than 4,000 pints of blood over the years at this annual event and truly are heroes,” said Janet Jarvis, donor recruitment account manager for the American Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Sadly, patients do not get a holiday from needing blood and platelets.”
Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
The need for blood is constant. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 14,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients in Illinois and across the country. Donors with all blood types are currently needed.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.