On Friday, June 14, countries across the globe will celebrate World Blood Donor Day, with blood drives and other activities promoting the importance of blood donation and highlighting those whose lives have been saved by this selfless act.
In Chicago, Vitalant (formerly Life-Source) will partner with Chicago’s Very Own WGN-TV to host a 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. blood drive inside Channel 9’s famed Bozo the Clown Studio #1, 2501 West Bradley Place, across from Lane Technical High School. Donors will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite Channel 9 news anchors and reporters.
In Rosemont, Vitalant will partner with the Chicago Dogs to host a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. community blood drive at Impact Field, 9800 Balmoral Drive, located between O’Hare International Airport and the Fashion Outlets of Chicago shopping center. The drive is co-sponsored by WGN-TV.
While walk-ins are always welcome at both drives, Vitalant strongly encourages both first-time and existing donors of all blood types to visit and enter Group Code N70 for the WGN-TV blood drive, 896B for the Chicago Dogs blood drive, or call (877) 543-3768 to schedule an appointment. All donors will receive a limited edition Vitalant tumbler and donors attending the drive at Impact Field will be rewarded with a pair of tickets to a Chicago Dogs game this season.
“Patients, their families and the hospitals in the Chicago area that Vitalant serves depend on us to deliver on our promise to provide a safe and ample blood supply,” said Vitalant Regional Director Eva Quinley. “We are so grateful to WGN-TV and to the Chicago Dogs for partnering with us on World Blood Donor Day. The decline in blood donations is a repeating theme each summer and we need donors to give blood now to help combat the decline.”
In preparation for their World Blood Donor Day donation, donors are asked to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with proper identification. The blood donation process takes about an hour and is both safe and comfortable. Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent).
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. That’s why it’s so important to continuously replenish the supply. Blood has a shelf life of 42 days for red blood cells and just five days for platelets. Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent do. And even with scientific advances being made in laboratories across the world everyday, there still remains no substitute for blood.
More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada, with 43,000 pints of donated blood being used every day in the two countries. There are four main red blood cell types: A, B, AB, and O. Each can be positive or negative for the Rh factor. AB is the universal recipient while O negative is the universal donor of red blood cells.
One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body organs and tissues and live about 120 days in the circulatory system. Platelets promote blood clotting and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live. “It’s the blood already on the shelf that helps in an emergency,” added Quinley. “That’s why it’s crucial for Vitalant to maintain a safe and ready supply at all times. It takes about 24 to 36 hours to process, test and distribute each blood donation before it is delivered to hospitals. It only takes about an hour to save up to three lives by giving blood.”
Vitalant is the nation’s second largest community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. In the Chicagoland area, Vitalant has 17 donation centers, four fixed sites and hosts an average of six blood drives every day. View all donation locations by visiting vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825. Follow Vitalant-Illinois on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
WGN News programs more local news than any other Chicago TV station, and can be seen on WGN-TV, CLTV, WGNTV.com and the WGN-TV News and Live apps. WGN 9.2 is Chicago’s home of Tribune Broadcasting’s classic TV network Antenna TV and WGN 9.3 is Chicago’s This TV movie network affiliate. WGN-TV is a Tribune Broadcasting station. For more information on Chicago’s Very Own WGN-TV, go to WGNTV.com.
About the Chicago Dogs
The Chicago Dogs are a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Named after Chicago’s favorite and oldest culinary tradition, the Chicago Dogs’ logo features the colors and stars of the iconic Chicago flag. Home games are played at the state-of-the-art Impact Field located at 9800 Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont, Ill. The team is managed by former Boston Red Sox Manager Butch Hobson, who brings more than 30 years of experience to Chicago.