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Bush: Blood banks in urgent need of donations

Blood donationGRAYSLAKE – Blood banks are facing a sharp decrease in donation appointments around Lake County and the state. Outright cancellations of blood drives have also been occurring with more frequency due to COVID-19. In light of the increasing shortages, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is encouraging people to donate blood assuming they are willing and able.

“If you are healthy and eligible to donate, your participation is critical to helping our healthcare system continue to operate,” Bush said. “We need blood donations to continue to treat illnesses like anemia, cancer, kidney and liver disease, or for surgeries that require a blood transfusion. The more we can produce positive health outcomes for patients, the more literal room we’ll create to address the coronavirus pandemic.”

Vitalant Blood Donation Centers are closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and have reassured individuals that they are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 from donating blood. There is also no risk at this time of the safety of the nation’s blood supply, only the adequacy of the supply. 17 centers are currently open with expanded hours from 7am-7pm.

“It is vital to practice social distancing and stay home if you are sick, but donating blood falls into the category of essential services that saves lives,” Bush said. “Blood donation centers have the tools and the knowledge to help you donate safely.”

Centers encourage potential donors to call ahead on the day of donation to allow potential donors to take a blood donor history questionnaire. They advise Illinoisans not to give blood if they have been diagnosed with or are being tested for COVID-19; been within six feet of someone who has or is being tested for the virus; or if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Donor centers are following recommendations from local, state and federal health agencies to keep staff, volunteers, and donors safe. For questions or concerns, please contact Vitalant Blood Donation Centers at (877) 258-4825 or visit Vitalant.org.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling