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January is National Blood Donor Month

Hinsdale – Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Blood Center is accepting appointments during January, which has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month for the past 39 years. All eligible donors will be entered into a drawing to win a Nintendo Wii game system. Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months – particularly January – due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. A reduction in donor turnout can result in shortages.

“Our blood center provides the critical link between blood donors who generously give the gift of life and the local patients who need this lifesaving gift,” said Julie Chin Bloom, donor recruiter at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Blood Center. “We encourage community members to give the gift of blood this January.”

The blood center is located at 121 N. Elm Street, level B2, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday. Call (630) 856-7837 for an appointment. Donors are needed for both whole blood and platelets, cell-like structures that are vital in treating patients suffering from life threatening diseases such as cancer and leukemia. Every year, more than a million people are diagnosed with cancer.

Burr Ridge resident Thomas Williams first began donating blood in high school and has been donating platelets since the mid-1990s. His wife, Joyce, also is a longtime donor. He visits Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Blood Center about once a month and has made 100 platelet donation visits so far.

“Blood transfusions save lives,” said Williams, who’s a paid on-call firefighter at the Pleasantview Fire Protection District. “There’s no substitute for human blood, so I would encourage anyone who’s able to donate blood and platelets to do so.”

There are a few general requirements to be eligible to donate blood and platelets: 

Age: 17 (16 year-olds can donate with written permission of parent or guardian)
Weight: At least 110 pounds
Diet: A well-balanced meal is recommended within four hours of donation
Health: General good health and no major surgeries in the last 12 months
Identification: Valid photo identification such as a driver's license or state identification card.
Blood has a shelf life of about 42 days, but platelets have a shelf life of just five days. Every day, hundreds of patients in the Chicago area need fresh platelets from healthy donors.  For more information about donating blood or platelets, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.