The Central Illinois Community Blood Center says the ratio of appointments to donations have dropped by 10 percent in the last several weeks, and it’s believed that cold and flu season is partially responsible.
CICBC Donor Relations Manager Mindy Melton says O-negative blood supplies are reaching critical levels, but all types are needed.
“People are saying that people are sick, and we all know someone who’s been struggling with this flu and this viral thing that’s going around; there’s a cold that’s going around that’s pretty bad, and there’s a flu that’s going around, and with that, with donors not being healthy, they’re not able to donate blood,” she says.
“So obviously, people are still needing blood, and we do encourage people who are healthy to come in and help us out with the blood supply if they’re able.”
Melton says it seems like the blood center has low supplies this time of year every year.
“Some years, the flu obviously and illnesses are worse than others. This year, it seems illness is worse than bad weather; some years, we’ve battled the weather with ice storms and things like that that shut down blood drives, that keep people at home where they’re not able to get out and help us with the blood needs,” says Melton.
“So, this year, it just seems to be illness that impacting things. January’s always a really tough month to give blood.”
The next blood drive in Morgan County will be on January 30th at Franklin Bank. There will be no drives in the Jacksonville area until February. Melton says three blood drives in Jacksonville this month netted a total of 159 donors, 148 pints of blood, and four platelets.
To schedule a donation, visit www.cicbc.org or call 1-866-GIVE-BLD.