BROOKFIELD, Ill. (July 15, 2018) — Blood donations often do not keep pace with hospital demand during the summer months, but every day there are thousands of lives to help save. The American Red Cross invites eligible donors to roll up a sleeve during the 4th annual Brookfield Zoo Blood Drive Wednesday, Aug. 8, and Thursday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoo’s ITW White Oak Room at the Bramsen Animal Ambassador Building, 3300 Golf Road, in Brookfield.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency blood shortage and is issuing an urgent call for blood and platelet donors to give now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatment they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are immediately needed to help replenish the blood supply.
“Summer months are among the most challenging times of the year for collecting blood as regular donors delay giving while they vacation and participate in seasonal activities,” said Celena Roldán, chief executive officer of the Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “The Brookfield Zoo Blood Drive is a great opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people in Chicago and throughout northern Illinois. Patients are counting on generous blood donors to help them spend more summers with their loved ones.”
All who come to donate will receive a $10 Visa gift card (via email) and be treated to a cookout, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Those with appointments will receive free general zoo admission the day of the drive for one adult and up to two children and free parking in the Discovery Center Parking Lot. All walk-in blood donors will receive a ticket for free general zoo admission on a return visit.
Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: BrookfieldZoo or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.