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Donate Blood: Nationwide Critical Blood Shortage

Phillip Hanks underwent multiple surgeries for multiple failing organs in 2019. He said the blood donated, which he received in transfusions, saved his life. Read his incredible story from the Chicago Tribune here.

Blood donations, especially in the winter months, are critical. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, yet the American Red Cross estimates that only 3% of the population actually donates. All blood types are needed and a single blood donation can save more than one life!

"Currently, the blood supply is at a dangerously low level, not seen in 10 years,"Celena Roldan, CEO of the Illinois Red Cross said. "Recently, blood product distributions to hospitals have been outpacing the number of blood donations coming in. Lifesaving blood can only be donated through the generosity of individuals, and we appreciate the viewers of ABC7 that are feeling healthy coming out to donate to others in need."

"Blood is always at a premium during the winter months and the need is even more critical as the pandemic continues," John Idler, president and general manager of ABC7 Chicago said. "We want to encourage Chicagoans to contribute to this 'essential service,' if they are healthy, while letting them know they can donate safely."

Appointments are strongly encouraged. Make yours now at Sponsor Code: ABC7Chicago. All presenting donors will receive a free ABC7 Great Chicago Blood Drive t-shirt (while supplies last).

People across the country depend on the generosity of blood donors. Make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Despite the variant and the challenges it presents, the Red Cross and other blood collection organizations have to continue to collect blood. Blood collection drives and blood donation are not viewed as events, but are considered an "essential service" and "critical infrastructure" function as determined by the United States Department of Homeland Security and many other federal, state and local authorities. Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is essential to ensuring the health of the community, and the Red Cross will continue to hold blood drives during this challenging time to help meet patient needs. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued statements encouraging blood donation for those who are well. It's important to note that blood drives have the highest standards of safety and infection control.

Those who have been diagnosed with COVID are asked to defer from donating blood for 14 days in alignment with FDA.

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