St. Bernard Hospital holding blood drive

St. Bernard Hospital will host its annual community blood drive Friday July 19, 2013 from 11a.m. to 5p.m. at the hospital located at 326 West 64th Street in Chicago. The blood drive seeks to tackle a significant lack of donors from the South Side neighborhoods served by the hospital. Now in its 11th year, the blood drive is timely during summer months, when fewer donors give. College and high school students, who constitute 20% of the usual donor pool citywide, are on vacation in summer resulting in decreased donations. Additionally, greater summer travel and activities tend to lead to a greater number of accidents requiring blood transfusions. The blood goes into a general bank that is used by hospitals all over Chicago.

The hospital hopes to have as many people as possible come out to donate. At least 90% of the population will need blood at some time in their lives. The donated blood might be used for surgery, to treat a serious burn or to treat mom and baby after birth. African Americans are the largest number of suffers of sickle cell anemia, the treatment of this condition frequently requires blood transfusions. All of these conditions and procedures require blood supplies.

St. Bernard is seeking to educate neighbors about the safety and ease of donating blood, as well as the importance to the community. We have many families who have never been introduced to blood donation. We want them to know the needles used are always clean and that they cannot be infected by donating blood.

The hospital is asking all members of the community 17 years of age or older who think they are eligible to donate blood to please come out and give. It could easily be a family member, friend or neighbor who ends up receiving your blood to save their life. In order to maintain a vital supply of blood, as many people as possible must give.