Increasing levels of activity at local hospitals and past cancellations of blood drives throughout the region have led to critically low levels of blood product supplies. Leaders from Central Illinois Community Blood Center (CICBC) and HSHS St. Francis Hospital are calling on the public to step forward and donate at an upcoming blood drive.
St. Francis Hospital is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, August 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bloodmobile which will be parked at the hospital, 1215 Franciscan Drive, Litchfield, IL. All donors MUST make an appointment, no walk-ins. To schedule a donation time, call the blood center at 217-241-7550 or visit www.bloodcenter.org and use Sponsor Code: 60456. All donors will be required to wear a mask and present a photo ID. All donors will receive a voucher for a $10 gift card.
As the need for donors persists, CICBC has implemented changes to donor eligibility based on revised guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One of the changes approved by FDA will permit donations by many donors previously deferred due to exposure Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD or Mad Cow Disease). The revised guidance from the FDA eliminates the deferral of individuals who spent time on U.S. military bases in Europe. The deferral will remain for those who spent time in the United Kingdom (cumulative three months from 1980-1996) and France or Ireland (cumulative five years from 1980-2001).
CICBC is taking extra precautions to keep donors safe and healthy. Anyone not feeling well, has recently been tested for COVID-19, or has been in contact with someone being tested for COVID-19, is asked not to donate at this time but reschedule an appointment at a later date.
Recovered COVID-19 patients can help others after winning their fight with the virus. The blood center is accepting referrals from individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection to give plasma to help newly diagnosed patients. Potential donors who can provide documentation of a laboratory-confirmed positive test for COVID-19 and meet other health and safety criteria, will be scheduled for a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) donation.
CCP donors must be fully recovered from their COVID-19 infection and must meet all standard eligibility criteria for blood donation. Plasma will only be collected from donors with laboratory-confirmed tests showing they had a COVID-19 infection and must be at least 28 days from the last date they experienced symptoms. These donors will have antibodies to help fight COVID-19 and will be scheduled for a plasma donation at a nearby Donor Center or mobile blood drive. Individual donors and care providers may refer themselves or their patients via the referral form available at www.bloodcenter.org
or by calling 833-610-1025.
A blood donor can give every eight weeks, or up to six times a year. All person’s age 17 and up (or 16 with a signed parental permission form) who weigh at least 110 lbs. and are in general good health meet the basic eligibility requirements for blood donation. A full list of donor eligibility guidelines may be found at http://www.bloodcenter.org/donate-blood/donating-blood/donor-eligibility.aspx