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University of Iowa News Release


May 31, 2007

Iowa, Illinois Blood Centers Encourage Donations

Community blood centers from Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers and Iowa Blood Centers' Alliance are joining together in a bi-state effort to celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) on June 14.

The DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is a member of both the Illinois Coalition and Iowa Alliance. Both are statewide organizations of locally controlled, community blood centers, dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of voluntary blood donation through advocacy and public education.

WBDD is designed to raise awareness of the need for safe blood around the world; to thank and honor those blood donors who make transfusion possible; and to encourage healthy, eligible individuals to give blood regularly.

"In celebrating WBDD, UI DeGowin Blood Center recognizes blood donors for their important contributions within our community and encourages others to follow their example," said Paula Dayton, DeGowin donor recruitment coordinator. "It is important to ensure that blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed.

DeGowin Blood Center urges healthy, eligible area residents to join this important celebratory event by making an appointment to give blood. To donate blood, one must be healthy and meet age, weight and other donor requirements. To locate a blood donor center in your area and schedule a blood donation appointment, visit online at

The overwhelming majority of the world's population does not have access to safe blood. According to the World Health Organization, more than 80 million units of blood are donated every year, but only 38 percent are collected in developing nations, home to 82 percent of the global population. The chance of receiving a safe transfusion varies enormously, depending largely on whether there is a good, safe blood donor program in place. Some 60 percent of the global blood supply goes to 18 percent of the world's population.

Blood is needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities to care for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident and trauma victims. As additional donor restrictions are implemented and the population ages, the United States and other countries could lose more willing donors, causing an even greater threat to our global blood supply.

While the need for blood is universal, access to blood for those who need it is not. According to the four key partners of World Blood Donor Day (World Health Organization, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations, and International Society of Blood Transfusion), women and children in low-income areas have the greatest need for blood.

More than half a million women die every year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; 99 percent of these deaths happen in developing countries. Hemorrhages account for 25 percent of complications and are the most common cause of maternal death. Up to 70 percent of all blood transfusions in Africa are given to children with severe anemia due to malaria, which accounts for about one in five of all childhood deaths in Africa.

Members of the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers include:

--Central Illinois Community Blood Center, Springfield.
--Community Blood Services of Illinois, Urbana.
--Heartland Blood Centers, Aurora.
--LifeSource Blood Services, Glenview.
--Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, Davenport, Iowa.
--Rock River Valley Blood Center, Rockford.

Members of the Iowa Blood Centers' Alliance include:

--The Blood Center of Iowa, Des Moines.
--DeGowin Blood Center, Iowa City.
--Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, Davenport.
--Siouxland Community Blood Bank, Sioux City.

For additional information on WBDD, go online to and/or

The DeGowin Blood Center supplies blood products for patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Last year, there were more than 32,000 transfusions involving blood products at UI Hospitals and Clinics, or an average of nearly 90 every day. You must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be cold and flu symptom free for five days to donate blood.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,; Program: Paula Dayton, 319-356-0524,