A blood drive held in December for an injured police officer netted more than 200 units of blood.

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The City of Evanston will be holding a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Parasol Room of the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

There is no substitute for human blood. In Illinois, the blood supply system is entirely dependent on volunteer donors. More than 4,000 pints are used by hospital patients in this area every week.

Some things to keep in mind: 60 percent of the population is medically eligible to give blood, yet only 5 percent of the national population donates blood; if all blood donors gave two to four times a year, it would help prevent blood shortages; 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life-saving blood transfusions; every three seconds someone needs blood; and it takes only about three gallons of blood support the entire nation’s blood needs for one minute.

Call Mayda Figueroa, 847-866-2949 or e-mail mfigueroa@cityofevanston.org.

Eligibilty factors:

To donate blood, persons must meet the following critera:

• Weigh at least 110 pounds;

• Be in good physical health;

• Be at least 17 years old (there is no upper age limit);

• Not have given blood in the past eight weeks (56 days).

Disqualifying Factors

Persons are not eligible to donate blood if any of the following applies:

• Have had hepatitis (not including childhood exposure);

• Are pregnant;

• Have ever tested positive for HIV;

• Have engaged in high risk behavior, or have had intimate contact with anyone at risk for AIDS;

• Have Babesiosis or Chagas Disease.

Persons may be temporarily ineligible to donate if any of the following applies:

• Have the flu, a sore throat or fever;

• Are taking antibiotics for an infection;

• Received a tattoo, had your ears or another body part pierced, or experienced an accidental “needle stick” injury in the past 12 months;

• Have had heart problems;

• Received a blood transfusion in the past 12 months;

• Have been recently vaccinated (time of deferral varies). Flu shots do not disqualify you from donating;

• Have had a history of cancer (other than skin cancer);

• Lived in or traveled to a malaria area;

• Have recently had a sexually transmitted disease or mononucleosis.

Preparing to Donate Blood

Anyone who contemplates donating blood should do the following:

• Maintain a healthy iron level by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins;

• Get a good night’s sleep;

• Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation;

• Eat a healthy meal before the donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries and ice cream.