Wednesday, January 23, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Health

Celebrate National Blood Donor Month

By Contributing Editor, Dulcinea Hawksworth

January is National Blood Donor Awareness Month. And while we just wrapped up the biggest gift-giving season of the year, it’s a great time to consider giving just one more.
“The biggest reward from donating blood is knowing that your gift of life is helping someone spend more time with family, friends and loved ones," Ann McKanna, VP of Marketing and New Business Development at Heartland Blood Centers said. "Patients of all ages, from premature babies to the elderly, are receiving blood transfusions every day at community hospitals"
Heartland is a not-for-profit blood center, which serves 47 hospitals in a 12 county region including Joliet and its surrounding areas. January is the highest transfusion month of the year as patients who can delay their non-emergency surgeries and treatments often do so until after the holidays.   
In celebration and observance of National Blood Donor Awareness Month, all donors who give blood at Heartland Center or mobile locations during the month of January will receive a $10 Target gift card.
Additionally, Heartland has incorporated incentives to promote ongoing donations.
"We've introduced a new program in January, The Warm Hearts Club, which recognizes repeat donors for their level of commitment," McKanna said. "Donors earn points based on their donation procedure and frequency that can be redeemed for online store rewards"
Upcoming Blood Drives in Joliet:
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 19: Bill Jacobs Chevrolet, 2001 W. Jefferson Ave.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Jan. 29: First Midwest Bank, 50 W. Jefferson Ave.
  • 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 30, Will County State's Attorney's Office, 121 N. Chicago St.
Because blood has a limited shelf-life, blood donors are needed continuously to ensure that inventories do not drop below anticipated transfusion levels.
“Our challenge is making sure our blood donors know we need them to donate blood regularly - not just in times of crisis," McKanna said. "Our hope is healthy community members will make a commitment to becoming a regular blood donor and help us keep the local blood supply at adequate levels throughout the year."
If you need more good reasons to get out and donate, consider these facts from America’s Blood Centers: 
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds.
  • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
  • One pint of blood, (the average donation size), can save up to three lives.
  • 43,000 pints= the amount of donated blood used each day in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Thirteen tests (including 11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.
  • You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
  • Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
  • A person could be forced to pass up a lifesaving organ, if compatible blood is not available to support the transplant.
  • Giving blood will not decrease your strength.
  • The actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes. The entire process – from the time you sign in to the time you leave – takes about an hour.
Who Can Donate:
All healthy members of the community are invited to share their good health through blood donation. Individuals must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. All potential donors are screened on-site before donating .
There are several additional blood drives in surrounding areas through the end of the month. Click here for more information.
Heartland’s Joliet Donation Center is located at 121 Springfield Avenue. To schedule your appointment call 1-800-7TO-GIVE. 

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