Blood donations face ‘perfect storm’

Blood donor officials are urging people to donate blood this holiday season. CREDIT: RED CROSS

A “perfect storm” of problems has led to a critical shortage of blood donations in the Quad Cities region and beyond.

That is what area blood donor officials are saying as they encourage people to donate blood during this holiday season.

“We’re seeing historically low blood levels,” said Gwen Bartoluzzi, account manager of the American Red Cross of the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois in Moline.

She added that many people still are hesitant about donating blood amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the holiday season is traditionally a tough time of year to get people to blood donation events because of family gatherings and school holiday breaks. 

This combination has resulted in a “perfect storm”  of challenges for blood donations, Ms. Bartoluzzi said.

Officials with ImpactLife, the former Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, say they also are seeing low blood supplies.

Kirby Winn, ImpactLife’s public relations manager, said the pandemic “changed everything” with blood donations. With many people still working from home, office and company blood drives have been canceled, and other organizations have been unable to conduct their traditional blood donation events.

“A lot of those groups have come back (and held blood drives), but not all of them have come back,” Mr. Winn added.

In an attempt to spur more donations, some groups are launching promotional campaigns. For instance, the Red Cross announced that those who donate blood between Dec. 17-Jan. 2 will receive a free Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. Other groups are offering gift cards to draw in blood donors.

“If more donors don’t come forward to give blood, some patients requiring a transfusion may potentially face delays in care,” according to a news release from the American Red Cross.

Red Cross officials added that each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows high standards of safety and infection control. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.

For more information on donating blood, contact the Red Cross of the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois at 309-743-2166 or ImpactLife at 563-359-5401. Information also is available at and

Quad-Citians interested in donating blood can participate in any of these upcoming blood drives:

  • Davenport: Dec. 21, 1-5 p.m.; Best Western Plus Steeplegate, 100 W. 76th St.
  • Moline: Dec. 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; American Red Cross of the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois, 1100 River Drive.
  • Aledo, Ill.: Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; VFW Hall, 106 S.W. 3rd St.
  • Amboy, Ill.: Dec. 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Amboy Community Building, 280 W. Wasson Road.
  • Dixon, Ill.: Dec. 23,  1-6 p.m., Dixon St. Paul Lutheran Church, 421 S. Peoria Ave.; Dec. 27, 1-6 p.m., American Legion, 1120 W. First St.

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