You Are Not Helpless in the Wake of Gun Violence. Donate Blood!

What happened in Highland Park is a tragedy, and regardless of your political and social views there is one thing that many of us can do to help victims of gun violence.


There are victims of yesterday’s shooting that are alive today because someone decided to give blood last week!

With blood supply at dangerous lows, I hope that sinks in.

In a new analysis of data submitted to Maryland’s state trauma registry from 2005 to 2017, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers found that gunshot victims are approximately five times more likely to require blood transfusions, they require 10 times more blood units and are 14 times more likely to die than people seriously injured by motor vehicles, non-gun assaults, falls or stabs.

If these types of shootings, innocent people in gangland crossfire, school shootings, workplace violence push you to action, but you don’t know what to do…start with scheduling a blood donation. It can save a victim’s life, in the most literal sense, and it will cost you nothing but an hour of your time.

If you have not donated in a while because you believe you are not eligible, well, try again! Regulations are always being updated.  There have been many medication changes, travel resurrections updates and lifestyle deferrals have been updated in the last two years, so it great to call 1800-7TO-GIVE to check if they can donate or visit a drive if it’s been a while.

Furthermore, the need for blood is CONTINUOUS. The shelf life of red blood cells is a little more than a month, and even shorter for platelets, which help with clotting. And summertime is always a slow time for donations with people traveling and schools being closed.

You can find a blood drive event near you by clicking here and entering your ZIP code.

Or, you can always scheduling a donation at any of the Versiti Blood Centers locations around the suburbs. A vast majority of donations stay local, unless there is great need elsewhere.

While I partner with Versiti Blood Centers of Illinois to promote local blood donations, you can also check for more donation events.

The best way to directly help victims is to donate blood.