CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Blood bank ImpactLife said that, just ahead of World Blood Donor Day on Tuesday, the Midwest’s supply of blood is approaching “critical levels” with an urgent need for donations.

ImpactLife cited a decrease in the rate of blood donations during the first weeks of summer as the reason for this downward trend. As World Blood Donor Day approaches, ImpactLife asks all eligible and potential donors to schedule an appointment and donate blood.

Erica Hostetler, administrative laboratory director at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, said that blood donations can be used in many ways to save lives.

“Blood products, used every day in our facilities, allow life to carry on,” Hostetler said. “We care for NICU babies who receive only 5 mL (a teaspoon) of blood, and trauma survivors that receive multiple blood products. Oncology patients receive platelets to help prevent bleeding and bruising, and surgical patients have units of blood on standby. We have high-risk moms that may need blood products if hemorrhage occurs, and sickle cell patients who go through regular transfusions to prevent complications from the disease. Having an adequate supply of blood donations is critical to keeping our loved ones alive.”

ImpactLife will be rewarding those who schedule blood donations through July 10 with a voucher redeemable for the donor’s choice of a gift card (including Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Subway, Starbucks and Walmart) or 500 bonus points to be used in ImpactLife’s Donor Rewards Store.

To schedule an appointment, call 800-747-5401 or visit ImpactLife’s website.