Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Tat? You Can Still Donate Blood

Change in Illinois Law Allows Blood Donors with Ink

WHAT:  Illinois legislation now allows individuals who got a tattoo after Jan. 1, 2010, to skip the previously enforced 12-month waiting period before donating blood as long as they got their tattoo at a business inspected by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“In 2005, I got a tattoo of a Mayan calendar in honor of my Hispanic heritage and I was really disappointed that I had to wait a year to be eligible to donate blood,” said José Sanchez, an information systems technician at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital who is a regular blood donor. “In July 2010, I got a second tattoo featuring the names of my two daughters – Maya and Isabella – and because it is after Jan. 1, 2010, I can continue to give blood."

Sanchez and other hospital staff members at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital are rolling up their sleeves and donating blood in an American Red Cross blood drive on Friday, Sept. 28.

“Hispanic blood is particularly in need, so I always give when I can,” said Sanchez, who like 57 percent of Hispanics in America is blood Type O, the universal donor. More than 60 percent of the population is eligible to give blood yet fewer than 3 percent in Chicagoland are donors. Less than 1 percent of area donors are Hispanic.

Like Sanchez, Jorge Maldonado, a hospital chaplain, is Hispanic and also is a regular blood donor. "Giving blood for me is easy and it means so much to help others to keep going," said Maldonado, who was also a regular blood donor in his native Chile. "There are so many Hispanics in Chicago. I feel it is even more important for me to give, and I can help whoever may be in need."

Blood is called “the gift of life” because there is no synthetic substitute. 
WHO:  Jose Sanchez, Jorge Maldonado and nurses, technicians, phlebotomists, physicians and more who care for patients around-the-clock at Loyola University Health System are voluntarily donating their own blood to help those in need.

WHEN:  9 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28

WHERE: Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 701 W. North Ave. Melrose Park, Ill.

MEDIA: Please call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036.

WHY:  Capture nurses, doctors and hospital staff donating blood to help others. Learn about changes in blood donation rules including newer Illinois tattoo laws.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.