Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis.  –  While summer is a time many enjoy vacations, cookouts and gatherings with friends and family, it is also when hospitals need more blood donations as people tend to get too busy to think about donating.  

Someone needs blood or a blood product every two seconds in the United States, according to The Community Blood Center, which is the organization that supplies HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals with blood and blood products. Approximately one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood for a variety of reasons. Blood transfusions can be necessary for cancer patients, serious injuries, surgeries, childbirth, blood disorders, anemia and many other conditions and situations.

Blood donations are needed year-round for these reasons.  But during the summer months, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are encouraging the public to make a concerted effort to give blood at a local blood drive.  

“Donations are important because we do not have an alternative for blood or blood products; it’s a special commodity,” said Russ Albert, laboratory director at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “Hospitals use blood every single day to help patients. We want to ensure supply is available for you or a loved one should you need it.” 

Dr. Katie Sackett, medical director of the blood bank at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital says once blood or a blood product is donated, it has a short shelf life – from a few days to a month.

“The community and our blood banks have a great responsibility to help others by donating blood so hospitals can maintain an adequate supply for those who need it,” says Dr. Sackett.

Top four reasons to make donating blood part of your summer plans: 

  1. Your donation can save a life, or several lives if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma. In fact, one pint of blood can save up to three lives. 
  2. As people are more active in the summer months, there are more motor vehicle and boating accidents and trauma, increasing the need for blood.  At the same time, appointments to donate blood typically drop during the summer as people are traveling and schools are closed for the summer (many blood drives are held at schools).
  3. Before donating you receive a small health check-up (not to replace regular exams with your provider) that includes a check of your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and iron levels. Also, once your blood is collected and sent to a lab, further testing is done to check for infectious diseases, and you are notified immediately if there are concerns. 
  4. It is an easier process to donate when you are most commonly wearing a short-sleeve shirt in the summer, versus having to roll up a long sleeve during colder months. 

For more information about how to save and improve quality of life for those in need of blood and plasma, visit The Community Blood Center at www.communityblood.org/

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About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.

About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels. 

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries,  and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department
HSHS Wisconsin
Office: (715) 717-4591
Cell: (715) 717-4747
Karen.Kraus@hshs.org

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