Great River Health Systems to host blood drive May 2

Great River Health System is hosting a Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center blood drive from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, in the Mercy Plaza lobby, 1225 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington.

The theme is “Step Up to the Plate.” Everyone who presents to donate will receive their choice of a red or blue baseball-theme T-shirt and a box of Cracker Jack.

Donors must be 17 years old (16 with a signed Parental Consent Form), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Photo identification or a blood center donor card is required to donate. Donors who last gave blood on or before March 17 are eligible to give at this drive.

Donors may walk in or make an appointment by calling (319) 768-3303. They also can register online. Scheduling online earns points for gear at the blood center’s Donor Loyalty Store.

To prepare for donation, eat a snack before donating and drink plenty of fluids before and after giving blood.

The major reasons patients need blood are cancer, heart and blood vessel disease, gastrointestinal diseases and emergencies such as car accidents and burns. There is no substitute for blood; it must come from donors. Every unit of blood donated can save up to four lives.

The not-for-profit Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center provides all the blood products used at Great River Medical Center and 86 other hospitals in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. Based in Davenport, it tests, processes and distributes more than 250,000 units of blood components each year.

For more information about donating blood, please visit www.bloodcenter.org.