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Heartland Blood Centers Facing Shortages



February 1, 2007



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 1, 2007                                                             

For more information contact Ammie Tabone,

Heartland Blood Centers’ Public Relations Director at 708.342.9765




AURORA, IL.  – Inventories of O negative, B negative, and AB negative are at less than a one day supply.  Inventories of A positive, A negative, and B positive are at only a two day supply.  Optimal inventory is at least a three day supply.  For Heartland, a three day supply means that we have enough blood to cover what is typically transfused over a three day period amongst our 35 system hospitals. The month of January trends as a high transfusion month primarily because many patients schedule elective surgeries during this time.  A sluggish return on blood donations during January is severely affecting not only Heartland Blood Centers, one of the nation’s oldest blood centers, but most blood centers nationwide. 


“We have not received the normal response from our blood donors post holidays that we have in the past and our blood supply is suffering.  At this point, Heartland will need at least four weeks of solid collections in order to restore an optimal inventory level,” said Ann McKanna, Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development at Heartland.    


Heartland Blood Centers relies solely on our volunteer blood donors to meet the needs of patients in the 35 area hospitals that we supply.  Annually, Heartland donors must collectively give 160,000 units of blood to meet the supply demands of these hospitals. 


“While we are facing shortages of several types, we are struggling most to meet our hospital needs for O negative and B negative blood types.  Because O negative is the universal donor, it is the most transfused in hospitals.  B negative accounts for only about 1.4% of the U.S. population, so only about 1 out of every 100 people will have this rare blood type.  We need all donors to give, especially our O negative and B negative donors” said Doug Winsor, Director of Hospital Services at Heartland.    

Donors can schedule a time to give by calling 1-800-7 TO GIVE.  Donors can also visit our Web site at
www.heartlandbc.org for listings of blood drives in the community and listings of our 14 center locations.   Blood drive sponsors and donors also have the opportunity to join the Four Seasons Club during February and March.  To learn more about this program and Heartland’s Lifesaver Club, please call or visit our web site.


To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.


Any coverage of the situation is greatly appreciated and vital to area patients. 

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