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Health

American Red Cross calling for donors

This May, the American Red Cross is calling for donors to give blood and platelets regularly to be prepared to meet the needs of patients in emergency situations.

According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2 million hospital admissions each year.

In March 2015, Kevin Frame suffered life-threatening injuries in a head-on collision during spring break. He received blood products to treat internal injuries immediately after the accident and during multiple surgeries while recovering.

“Without the blood and plasma products made available from donations, I would not be alive today to continue my rehabilitation journey,” said Frame, who had to relearn to swallow, speak and walk after the accident.

Regular blood, platelet and plasma donations help ensure blood is available at a moment’s notice. In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma because they can be transfused to any patient, regardless of blood type. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood. Platelets also may be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant — often critical — need to keep up with hospital demand.

Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve this May to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-733-2767.

All those who donate through Sunday, May 13, will be entered to win one of three $1,000 gift cards to a national home improvement retailer, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply. More details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Lets-Do-More.)

Local upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

• 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, John F. Kennedy Elementary School, 800 N. Richards St., Spring Valley.

• Noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, Illinois Valley Chapter Donation Center, 1530 Fourth St., Peru.

• 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, Illinois Valley Community College, 815 N. Orlando Smith Road, Oglesby.

• 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 509 E. Broadway St., Streator.

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3, Earlville High School, 415 W. Union St.

• 1:45 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3, New Beginnings Baptist Church, 204 S. Monroe St., Streator.

• 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, First Baptist Church, 1401 State St., Ottawa.

• Noon to 5 p.m. Friday, May 11, OSF St. Paul Medical Center, 1401 12th St., Mendota.

• Noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, Illinois Valley Chapter Donation Center, 1530 Fourth St., Peru.

• 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center, 1100 E. Norris Drive, Ottawa.

• 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 17, New Beginnings Baptist Church, 204 S. Monroe St., Streator.

• 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, St. Margaret’s Hospital, 600 E. First St., Spring Valley.

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