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Rock River Valley Blood Center facing shortage, in need of donations

Officials with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and officials with both Genesis Health System and Unity-Point Health System are calling for blood donors to support the local blood supply. (MGN Image)
Officials with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and officials with both Genesis Health System and Unity-Point Health System are calling for blood donors to support the local blood supply. (MGN Image)(KWQC)
Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 5:50 PM CDT
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The Rock River Valley Blood Center is in need of Type O-positive blood in the local community and a critical demand for all blood types.

A busy weekend of hospitals treating trauma cases has led to the increased demand of blood, according to the RRVBC.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center is asking anyone feeling healthy and well to schedule a donation appointment as soon as possible. Interested donors can walk in to one of the four donor centers in Rockford, Belvidere, or Freeport to donate, or visit a mobile blood drive.

“We tried to import blood from other centers, but there was none out there,” RRVBC CEO Lisa Entrikin said. “We are truly in a national blood shortage.”

Restrictions related to COVID-19 are still contributing to the local blood supply issues. More than 100 blood drives have been cancelled since April, resulting in a loss of over 2,000 units of blood, according to the RRVBC.

"It’s especially worrisome that the O-positive supply is at critical levels because this type can be given to most patients, and about 39 percent of the population has the O-positive blood type. There is no substitute for blood – generous donors are the only source," the RRVBC said.

The blood already on the shelves is what saves lives which is why maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to ensure patients in need receive optimal treatment. Blood has a 42-day shelf life, according to the RRVBC.

Appointments are still preferred and encouraged, but walk-ins will be welcomed as long as donor centers and blood drives can comply with social distancing requirements.

“It is safe to donate blood, and most people are eligible,” Entrikin said. “Please don’t assume others will fill the need. We need more people to give now and give regularly.”

Those interested may schedule a donation

, on the myRRVBC app or by calling 815-965-8751. Organizations are also encouraged to call about hosting blood drives to help support the community need.

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