June 10, 2014

Worried about a heart attack or stroke? Giving blood might help

AMA study reports regular blood donors have fewer heart attacks, strokes

MELROSE PARK, Ill. (June 10. 2014) - Many know that donating blood saves lives, but the life you save just may be your own.

“Excessive iron is believed to contribute to heart disease and donating blood reduces the iron stores in the body,” said Ivan Pacold, MD, chair, Cardiology Department, Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. “Plus you get a mini-assessment each time you give blood to reinforce wellness."

Hospital staff at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital are rolling up their sleeves and donating blood in an American Red Cross blood drive on Tuesday, July 1.

“Blood can only be obtained through human donation; there is no synthetic substitute for blood,” Pacold said. “One pint of blood can help up to three people in need, four if you include the donor."

An American Medical Association study reports that giving blood every six months led to fewer heart attacks and strokes in participants ages 43 to 61. Each donor has their temperature taken, pulse checked, and blood pressure and blood count measured.

Nurses, technicians, phlebotomists, physicians and other staff members who care for patients around the clock at Loyola University Health System are also voluntarily donating their own blood to help those in need.

The event will be held 7 a.m. –  1 p.m., Tuesday, July 1, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 701 W. North Ave. Melrose Park, Ill.

Free American Red Cross T-shirts will be given to every donor. People can sign up for appointments to give blood at redcrossblood.org.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, 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. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.