The Lemont Fire Protection District is encouraging residents to donate blood at a LifeSource blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Fire Station 1, 15900 New Ave.
LifeSource says that although 60 percent of the national population is medically eligible to give blood, only 5 percent donates blood – and if all blood donors gave two to four times a year, it would help prevent blood shortages.
To make an appointment to donate blood Jan. 12, contact LifeSource at 877-543-3768, register online at www.lifesource.org and use sponsor code L519 or call Lemont Fire Protection District at 630-257-2376. Walk-ins are also welcome.
According to Life Source guidelines, you are eligible to donate blood if you:
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Are in good physical health.
- Are at least 17 years old (there is no upper age limit).
- Have not given blood in the past eight weeks (56 days).
- As of March 2, 2010 LifeSource will no longer be deferring donors who received a tattoo after January 1, 2010 in a state that regulates its tattoo facilities. (Illinois is a regulated state.)
You are not eligible to donate blood if you:
- Have had hepatitis (not including childhood exposure)
- Are pregnant
- Have ever tested positive for HIV, have engaged in high risk behavior, or have had intimate contact with anyone at risk for AIDS
- Have Babesiosis or Chagas Disease
You may be temporarily ineligible to donate if you:
- Have the flu, a sore throat or fever
- Are taking antibiotics for an infection
- Have had heart problems
- Received a blood transfusion in the past 12 months
- Have been recently vaccinated (time of deferral varies). Flu shots do not disqualify you from donating
- Have had a history of cancer (other than skin cancer)
- Lived in or traveled to a malaria area
- Have recently had a sexually transmitted disease or mononucleosis
The Donation Process
According to LifeSource, the process of donating blood takes approximately one hour. To ensure the safety of both donor and blood supply, the following procedures are followed:
Step 1: Registration
In the reception area, general information (name, address, etc.) is recorded. In order to maintain accurate records, all donors are asked to present two forms of proper identification (such as driver's license, blood donor identification card, government issued ID, etc.). You will then be asked to read a brochure about donor requirements.
Step 2: Medical Interview
You will meet privately with a LifeSource staff member to review your medical history. This information is kept confidential.
Step 3: Mini Physical
During the mini-physical, your temperature, pulse and blood pressure will be checked. Then a drop of blood will be taken from your finger and tested to make sure you have enough iron-carrying red blood cells to safely donate blood.
Step 4: Donation
You will be taken to the actual donation area, where a phlebotomist will sterilize the area of your arm from which the blood will be drawn. The actual donation takes about 10 minutes as approximately one pint of blood is collected. All materials used during your donation are pre-packaged, sterile and disposable. They are used only once and then discarded.
Step 5: Refreshments and Relaxation
After your donation, you will be directed to the canteen area, where you will rest while enjoying light refreshments. After 15 minutes, you are permitted to leave the canteen area and resume your daily routine.
LifeSource is a non-profit corporation established in 1987 through the merger of the Blood Center of Northern Illinois and the Red Cross Blood Services - Mid America Region. LifeSource is the largest blood center in Illinois and distributes a half-million blood products annually to approximately 60 area hospitals in meeting the need for patient transfusion therapy.
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