High usage at area hospitals, slower than usual donor traffic, and mechanical issues on one of the mobile blood drive vehicles has left local blood supplies at dangerously low levels. “The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVC) has less than a 1 day supply of types A negative and B negative blood and less than a 2 day supply of type O negative. Several shootings and car accidents have resulted in the need for more blood. Also, mechanical issues on one of the blood center’s mobile collection vehicles has caused the cancellation of 3 blood drives resulting in nearly 100 lost units this week,” stated RRVBC spokesperson Jennifer Bowman.

Donating blood is safe and simple.  You are most likely able to donate if you are at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may give with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health.  Persons taking medications are not necessarily disqualified.

There are four community donor centers throughout the area (Belvidere, Freeport, Rockford) as well as many mobile blood drives.  Log on to www.rrvbc.org for hours, directions and mobile blood drive schedules.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the sole provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, Merychealth Hospital—Rockton Avenue, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere. For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, please call toll free 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at www.rrvbc.org.