Edwardsville, Ill. – Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is seeking additional blood donors to help support flagging inventories during the week of Christmas. Recent winter storms and busy holiday schedules have caused the rate of blood donation to decrease this month while the rate of blood utilization at local hospitals has remained steady. The Blood Center is recruiting donors of all blood types, but with a particular emphasis on type O-negative and Anegative. Prospective donors may schedule an appointment for donation by calling MVRBC at (618) 659-0542 or (800) 591-8049.

The Blood Center relies on mobile blood drives hosted by schools, churches, businesses and civic organizations. Donations at the Donor Center and on mobiles drives will decrease significantly during the week of Christmas.

“We know it’s more difficult for people to give blood this time of year,” said David Parsons, President, southern division, of Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. “But patient need at the hospitals we serve never takes a holiday.” MVRBC is the provider of blood and blood components to seven Metro East Illinois hospitals.

As a thank you to those who give blood at this critical time of year, the Blood Center is offering a blood drop squeezie to all presenting donors in the Metro East through December 31, and double points for the High School Blood Challenge on Friday, December 24, Monday, December 27, Friday, December 31 and Monday, January 3. Under the High School Blood Challenge, schools in the Metro East compete to earn scholarships based on the number of blood donors they can recruit during the school year. Donors in the Metro East may “credit” their donation to any participating high school.

All persons age 17 and up (or 16, with parental permission) who are in good health and weigh at least 110 lbs. are eligible to give blood. Additional restrictions apply through the pre-donation screening process. The process of giving blood takes about one hour. To find a nearby mobile blood drive or to schedule an appointment, please call (618) 659-0542 or (800) 591-8049.

Following its recent merger with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, Central Illinois Community Blood Center has changed its name in the Metro East area (including all of St. Clair and Madison counties) to Mississippi ValleyRegional Blood Center (MVRBC). MVRBC provides blood to 75 hospitals throughout Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, including seven hospitals in the Metro East region and eight hospitals in the Metro West. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org.

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