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Blood Shortage Across Central Illinois, Blood Donors Asked To Come Forward

Health care officials across the Central Illinois area are reporting a shortage of blood. The lack of donations at blood banks has been occurring for months about doctors are worrying the lack of donors is having an impact on their patients.

Representatives with the Central Illinois Community Blood Center say that having a shortage is not surprising this time of year. The holidays, paired with colder temperatures, keep people away.

However, with illnesses and the influenza virus rampant this time of year, donors have stayed away for good reason. Tara Matheson with the blood bank says they often have to turn people away from donating blood, mainly due to them being sick.

Matheson says they do not want to take bad blood and give it to an already sick patient, and that is creating a noticeable impact on their supplies.

"We have not cancelled any surgeries, we haven't not been able to provide the blood, but we have been making donors more aware of the need just because more new donors are needed."

Matheson added that on average for this time of year the center on Wabash Avenue, in Springfield, receives roughly 1,200 bags of blood donated during the month of January. However, due to the winter shortage they were down 150 bags last month.

A significant amount when you take into account that one bag of blood can save up to three lives.

For more information on how to become a donor, click here.

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