Illinois blood providers seek the public’s help for blood donations

Ji Suk Yi

A technician at Northfield Laboratories holds two IV bags filled with PolyHeme blood substitute next to outdated Red Cross blood Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 in Evanston, Ill. PolyHeme, which lasts longer than blood, is made at Northfield by extracting oxygen-carrying hemoglobin from the red blood cells of outdated human blood. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

There’s a national blood shortage due to COVID-19, and Illinois is experiencing a critically low supply of all blood types. Emily Alanis is the Regional Manager & Donor Recruitment of Versiti Blood Center of Illinois (formerly Heartland Blood Centers). She joins Ji to discuss the critical blood shortage crisis, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply and use of blood for transfusion, and how people can sign up to donate. If you are healthy and can donate blood, please consider doing so. For more information, visit

Ji Suk Yi
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Born in South Korea, Ji Suk Yi immigrated to the U.S. when she was almost five years old. She had an eclectic childhood— a fusion of Southern and Korean American culture. She’s called Chicago home since 2006. (Click for more.)
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