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updated: 5/22/2020 7:00 PM

Critical blood shortage declared as collection drives canceled

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Daily Herald report

The coronavirus has led to 270 blood drives being canceled since early March in the Chicago area, creating a critical blood shortage, Vitalant announced.

The nation's largest nonprofit, independent blood collector said that the canceled drives resulted in a loss of 12,000 uncollected blood donations. Meanwhile, a resumption of surgeries and other medical procedures in recent weeks has caused a 25% increase in need.

All blood types are critically needed, with an especially high need for type O, A-negative and B-negative red blood cells. In addition, platelets are always needed. Because of its five-day shelf life, the supply must be continually replenished.

Vitalant's has 17 donation centers. Appointments can be made online at or by calling (877) 258-4825.