Heartland Blood Centers Answers Call to Send Blood Products to Puerto Rico

O Negative blood donors and others needed to help those impacted by Zika virus

Mar 17, 2016, 16:07 ET from Heartland Blood Centers

AURORA, Ill., March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Heartland Blood Centers announced today it is part of a network of other blood centers in the country who are sending blood products to Puerto Rico to ensure a safe blood supply as that U.S. territory battles a Zika virus outbreak. 

Heartland has already shipped dozens of units of blood through its affiliation with America's Blood Centers and Blood Centers of America, and may be asked to provide additional units. The need for O negative blood, which can be utilized by anyone needing blood, is currently in great demand. 

"It is our mission to serve our Chicagoland community first and foremost, but also to respond and provide assistance when help is needed," said Amy Smith, director of donor recruitment at Heartland.  "Our donors are ready and willing to help, and as a country, and a community, we must be prepared to help people in need wherever they are."

Heartland is asking donors to schedule an appointment to help save lives not only in the greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana, but to also ensure other communities have a safe and adequate blood supply. Call 1-800-786-4483 or visit www.heartlandbc.org to schedule an appointment.

Anyone 16 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. The entire process takes about an hour.

About Heartland Blood Centers
Heartland Blood Centers, established in 1943, is a not-for-profit, independent blood center serving the Greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana. They provide service to 65 hospitals in 12 counties including Kane, McHenry, DeKalb, Will, DuPage, Cook, Grundy, Kendall, Lee, Ogle and LaSalle in Illinois, and Lake County in Indiana. Heartland operates under a volunteer donor system with the goal of collecting more than 160,000 units of blood annually. Heartland's first commitment is to meet local blood needs and 100 percent of blood donated is returned to the communities served by Heartland. As participants in a nationwide resource sharing program, Heartland stands ready to assist other parts of the country during severe blood shortages, national emergencies and increased demands by the armed services. For more information about Heartland or how to donate blood, visit heartlandbc.org or call 1-800-7 TO-GIVE.

SOURCE Heartland Blood Centers