Updated: July 15, 2013 7:59PM
The World Health Organization started World Blood Donor Day 10 years ago to raise awareness of the increased need for donated blood products and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14, but its message is communicated worldwide throughout the entire month of June, according to a release from Heartland Blood Centers.
Organizations around the world, including Heartland Blood Centers, a non-profit medical organization providing transfusion medicine services to 48 hospitals in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana, is recognizing World Blood Donor Day by educating the public of the tremendous need for volunteer blood donors in their community. This year’s campaign slogan is “Give the Gift of Life: Donate Blood.”
The focus is on the value of donated blood to the patient, not only in saving life, but also in helping people live longer and more productive lives.
“At Heartland Blood Centers, we require approximately 550 volunteer blood donors every day to supply our member hospitals with blood products for patients in need of blood transfusions,” said Ann McKanna, vice president, Marketing and New Business Development with Heartland Blood Centers. “In many situations, patients require numerous transfusions at one time, depending on their treatment needs. This, along with the transfusion needs of patients of all ages, pre-mature babies to the elderly, increases the blood usage and the need for volunteer blood donors.
In the United States alone, someone needs blood every two seconds.
“We not only need our loyal blood donors to continue to donate in the summer, but we need new blood donors every day to help replace those donors who are no longer eligible to donate,” McKanna said. “We ask that all healthy community members visit a mobile blood drive or center location this summer to share their good health with others by donating blood. If you are unable to donate blood, please consider sponsoring a blood drive with us. We provide all the tools you will need to host a successful event.”
As a thank-you gift, blood donors will receive a Donor Appreciation Certificate good for $7 in retail purchases at any Oberweis Ice Cream and Dairy Store location when they donate at any Heartland Blood Centers mobile or center location. Some blood drive or center locations may have an alternative thank you gifts.
For a list of donation locations, visit www.heartlandbc.org.
Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site, including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.
To be a blood donor, 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. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.