story from Connie Kuntz, WNIJ — Heidi Ognibene is the director of operations for the Rock River Valley Blood Center. She said they need more blood donations because they share their supply with “sister centers” throughout the United States. She said the national supply may become low because of reaction to the coronavirus. Heidi Ognibene is the director of operations at the Rock River Valley Blood Center.
“There are places all over the country that are canceling their blood drives.” she said, “because there’s a fear of people gathering together in big numbers and social groups.” “We’re really worried,” she continued, “that we’re going to have a national blood shortage because of the cancellations.”
Ognibene said if the center doesn’t maintain an adequate supply in northern Illinois, then they can’t help on a national level.
It takes about one hour to donate blood. Ognibene said donating blood is safe and does not hurt. She compared it to a “pinch in your arm.”
“If you could pinch your arm and save someone’s life, most people would say ‘Yes,'”she said. “You can pinch your arm at the blood center and save up to three people’s lives.”
Healthy people with any blood type are welcome to donate blood. Especially needed are those with O Negative and O Positive blood types. You can learn how to donate blood here.