Announcing the 14th Annual Red Shoe Run—For Donor Awareness Saturday, April 8, 2017

 

Rockford, IL—The 14th Annual Red Shoe Run—For Donor Awareness is being presented by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and will take place Saturday, April 8th, 2017 at Northern Illinois University—Rockford. This 5K run/fitness walk began in 2004 to increase awareness about the lifesaving need for organ, tissue, eye, blood and marrow cell donations and raise funds to sustain those efforts in the community. Every dollar pledged brings us closer to our goal of helping every patient find their lifesaving match. Over 1,000 runners and walkers participate on this crisp April morning to pay tribute to donors who give life and treatment to thousands of patients every day. Go to www.RedShoeRun.org for more information, to volunteer, register to participate or pledge

Race time is 8:00am sharp! The walk begins at 8:10am. Pre-registration packet pick up will be held at Rock River Valley Blood Center, 419 North Sixth Street on Thursday, April 6, from 6:30am-6:00pm and Friday, April 7, from 6:30am-9:30am.

Prizes awarded in 17 different age divisions. The first 800 registered will receive a special edition event shirt.

Medical technology has given us the treatment for formerly incurable diseases, but for too many, there is no donor to help them. Help us change that!

Special thanks to the following sponsors: DaVita Dialysis, KishHealth System, MercyHealth, Rockford Nephrology Associates and Stillman Bank.

Contacts:
Julie Tilbury, jtilbury@rrvbc.org, 630-546-4727
Jennifer Bowman, jbowman@rrvbc.org, 815-961-2343

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017 Straight from the Heart Donor Day with Rockford’s Country Q98.5, Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall and First Northern Credit Union Host

Saturday, Feb. 11, from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall, First Northern Credit Union and Q98.5 will host a blood and marrow drive. All blood types are needed. If you are between the ages of 18-44 you can also join the Be The Match® Registry while you are there. The event takes place inside the showroom at Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall.

“We are so pleased to be able to carry on this wonderful event. This has become an annual event that the blood center really counts on, and I am happy to welcome them to Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of,” says General Manager, George Schaffner of Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall.

Q98.5’s Q Crew will be broadcasting live from 10am-2pm. There will be event t-shirts for donors while supplies last. All donors will receive a coupon for a free pizza from Papa John’s. Attendees can also register to win Travis Tritt Tickets!

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, Freeport Health Network, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Hospital and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.

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17th ANNUAL ROCK & ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE BLOOD & MARROW DRIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—The Rock River Valley Blood Center, 104.9 WXRX and IBEW Local Union 364 are joining forces to host the 17th Annual Rock & Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood and Marrow Drive.  The event will take place Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 8:00am-2:00pm at IBEW Hall, 6820 Mill Road in Rockford.

The 17th Annual Blood Drive hopes to register more than 175 donors at the event.  The event will feature WXRX broadcasting LIVE from the event and includes great prizes and give-a-ways.  The first 104 donors will receive a special edition, souvenir tshirt while supplies last. Papa John’s is providing all donors with a coupon for a medium 1-topping pizza.

As part of National Blood Donor Month, WXRX and the Rock River Valley Blood Center have established this annual event in hopes of generating new donors and increasing public awareness of the necessity of blood and marrow donations. Since its inception, nearly 2,200 units of blood have been collected at this event. “Because of the efforts of WXRX and our sponsors, thousands of patients have received lifesaving transfusions,” said Jennifer Bowman, RRVBC spokesperson.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Memorial Hospital, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, MercyHealth Rockford, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.  For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, please call toll free 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at www.rrvbc.org.

 

Media Contact:  Jennifer Bowman, Rock River Valley Blood Center

jbowman@rrvbc.org

Direct # 815-961-2343

 

Katy Chadwick, Midwest Family Broadcasting

815-874-7861

Kchadwick@rmgmwf.com

 

January is National Blood Donor Month

As the New Year begins, the Rock River Valley Blood Center is encouraging people to make a resolution to donate blood regularly.  January has been designated National Blood Donor Month since 1970. It provides blood collection organizations a time to pay tribute to blood donors and encourage new donors. Throughout the month of January, RRVBC will provide a token of thanks to donors. All donors will receive a coupon for a free vanilla cone or pie from participating McDonald’s.

“Blood donors are pretty rare. Less than 10% of the eligible population gives blood. It is important for us to be able to show the immense gratitude we have for our blood donors,” said Jennifer Bowman, RRVBC PR & Marketing Manager. “These everyday heroes save lives without ever asking for anything in return. It is vital that we acknowledge the altruism at the heart of blood donation.”

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.  For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, please call toll free 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at www.rrvbc.org.

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Blood Collections Down 30%: Inclement weather and flu season to blame

Blood Collections Down 30%:
Inclement weather and flu season to blame

Inclement weather and flu season are affecting the community blood supply. Snow, cold temperatures and donors feeling under the weather have all negatively impacted traffic at all donor centers and blood drives. “Collections are down 30%. We are juggling the limited blood products we have to ensure our hospitals have products on their shelves, but the supply continues to dwindle. Red blood cells expire in 42 days and platelets last only 5 so it is a constant process to manage what we do have and make sure it’s where it needs to be most. Back to back days of extreme cold mean we could come very close to running out of any blood type. On top of all of this, the flu season is upon us and donors are canceling appointments daily,” said Jennifer Bowman, RRVBC.

Donating blood is safe and simple. You are most likely able to donate if you are at least 17 years old (16 year olds may donate with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health. Persons taking medications are not necessarily disqualified.

There are four community donor centers throughout the area (Belvidere, Freeport, Rockford) as well as many mobile blood drives. Log on to www.rrvbc.org for hours, directions and mobile blood drive schedules.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the sole provider of blood products and services to Beloit Memorial Hospital, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere. For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, please call toll free 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at www.rrvbc.org.

Contact:
Jennifer M. Bowman
Public Relations and Marketing Manager
Rock River Valley Blood Center
815-961-2343 direct
jbowman@rrvbc.org

RRVBC Removes Two Drugs from Donor Deferral list

Two commonly prescribed drugs have been removed from the list of medications that defer donors from donating at the Rock River Valley Blood Center. Previously, use of meloxicam, an NSAID and/or Gabapentin, an anti-epileptic/anti-convulsant prevented a person from being eligible to donate blood. “The pool of people willing to donate blood in the US continues to diminish. Reviewing our processes and eliminating restrictions that will not impact the donor experience nor the safety of a transfusion are ways in which we may be able to increase the number of donors in the stateline area,” said Jennifer Bowman, RRVBC spokesperson. “The FDA does not require deferring donors that take these medications, so under the supervision of our Medical Director, it was deemed an appropriate measure to take.”

These changes come at a time that can be extremely challenging for blood collection efforts. “As we enter in to the holiday season, we will see donation numbers dwindle back down again. Unfortunately, we have never really recovered from our summer blood shortages, so we are heading into the season behind. Donors become scarcer as snow birds leave for warmer climates, cold and flu season hits, inclement weather arrives and the busyness of the holiday season begins,” said Bowman. “We are asking that eligible donors come in or make an appointment to donate prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.”

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, Freeport Health Network, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Hospital and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.

Zika Testing to Start at Rock River Valley Blood Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Zika Testing to Start at Rock River Valley Blood Center

Beginning November 15, 2016, the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) will add a test for the Zika virus to its battery of laboratory screenings for infectious diseases in donated blood.

Called a Nucleic Acid Test (NAT), it’s designed to detect the virus in blood by amplifying the presence of nucleic acid, the genetic material of viruses. The test for Zika is being implemented as an IND or Investigational New Drug.

Donated blood has long undergone NAT to detect the presence of HIV, hepatitis and West Nile virus in whole blood and blood components like fresh plasma, red cells and platelets. The addition of this test will eliminate the need for donors to be questioned about travel to Zika endemic areas such as Florida.

On August 26, FDA released revised guidelines recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories. Since that time RRVBC has been working with a test manufacturer and the FDA to implement these guidelines.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, Freeport Health Network, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Hospital and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.

CDC’s Response to Zika