Rockford blood center facing dire shortages

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – For local blood centers, fall is usually the season when donations start to pickup, but blood centers are seeing extreme shortages nationwide, and the stateline is no exception.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center, 419 N 6th St, is one of the centers that is being affected. They are reportedly in urgent need of blood donors, and are encouraging people who can to donate.

Heidi Ognibene, the Chief Operating Officer of Rock River Valley Blood Center, said that the situation is dire.

“Nationally, we are seeing it happening everywhere, it is not just Rockford, it is everywhere in the nation that is feeling this,” Ognibene said. Unless we get a surplus of blood, we can not help out the nation either, so right now we are in pretty critical need. Right now, we really need to have a seven day supply of blood. It goes up and down, and right now, last night, we had an extreme usage with trauma and surgeries that went wrong, so now we are down to less than a one day supply of certain types of blood.

Ognibene said that the number of people coming in to donate blood has been fluctuating during the pandemic.

“At first, we were seeing a lot of people come in, because they were excited to get out of the house, and now that they can get out of the house, they are not coming back here, so we really need people to come back here,” Ognibene said. “I think more of it now is that people are able to go back to work back to their normal routines, and we are not part of their normal routine right now.”

One donation can save up to three lives. People can give blood, regardless of vaccination status, if they meet donation requirements.

“So, we definitely need people to come in, and coupled that, with the national shortage, we can not help anyone else if we do not have our supply filled here,” Ognibene said.

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