RRVBC urges locals to donate blood

Rock River Valley Blood Center wants to reach new blood donors in 2023 for trauma patients
Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 8:30 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rock River Valley Blood Center is encouraging people to donate blood in honor of the organization’s 70th anniversary.

According to the center’s CEO Lisa Entrikin, only 16,000 people in the Rock River Valley donate blood. The Center’s 2023 goal is to add 7,000 new donors to the list.

“Blood supplies can be, you know, used up very quickly, especially in a mass casualty or a multiple casualty event,” said Mercyhealth emergency physician John Pakiela.

Many people look for ways to get more involved in their community but finding where to start can be difficult. An easy way to do so, that only takes an hour of your time is donating blood to the Rock River Blood Center to help trauma victims, especially after an outbreak of violence.

“It’s a resource that you know is sometimes taxed and I credit the Rock River Valley Blood Center for their efforts in trying to increase that supply because it is critical especially in our community,” Pakiela said.

Mercyhealth general trauma surgeon Michael Masteller says blood supply is so critical because anyone may need it even if they’re not bleeding at that point.

“We actually use it a lot throughout the hospital as well. If you’ve had a surgery and your blood is getting lowered or if you have any kind of blood abnormalities or diseases that affect your blood, you often need transfusions as well,” Masteller said.

State representative Maurice West is passionate about donating blood because he says it unites the community. West feels people who are on the fence about donating blood should consider how fragile life is.

“Those of us who can give, who are healthy enough to give, let’s go ahead and help those who is not in the sapce space as you because if you find youreself in that position, you’re going to want someone to help you too,” West said.