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Transplant Cardiologist Shares Personal Story to Illustrate of the Importance of Blood Donation

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January 28, 2010

Chicago -

Blood Drive to be held Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10 at Northwestern Memorial

Priya Kansal, MD, has long understood the importance of blood, tissue and organ donation. During her 12 years as a doctor, and more recently as a transplant cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Priya has witnessed second chances made possible due to the generosity of others who donate to those in need. While education surrounding the importance of blood, tissue and organ donation is part of her job, it is also a personal mission. This fall, Priya experienced severe complications due to a rare bleeding condition that occurred during the birth of her son. What began as a happy moment turned into a life or death situation as Priya lost massive amounts of blood. Doctors did not expect her to live. In total, Priya lost nine liters of blood requiring 16 units of blood transfusions and spent time in the intensive care unit. One week after delivering her son Vardaan, a name that suitably means “when God grants something to you”, Priya returned home. Doctors and nurses were amazed. Priya had beaten the odds. As she looks back, Priya believes more than ever in the importance of blood donation. Her experience demonstrates how quickly life can change.

“You never know when you are going to be on the other side, the one who is in need of help from others,” said Priya. “I want people to understand that donating blood saves lives. My story proves this is true.”

To encourage blood donation, Priya will be taking part in a blood drive held at Northwestern Memorial on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and Wednesday, Feb. 10.

“There is a great need for blood donors, but especially those with rare blood types such as O Negative” said Priya. “Donating is easy, and for every one person that donates, at least three patients will benefit.”

According to the American Red Cross, only three in 100 people eligible currently donate blood, yet an estimated 5 million people require life-saving blood transfusions each year.

Marianne Dlugo, volunteer coordinator at Northwestern Memorial is a past donor and plans to donate again.

“I’m on the giving end today, but I recognize that I could just as easily be a recipient some day,” said Dlugo. “I donate because I feel it’s the right thing to do.”

The blood drive at Northwestern Memorial is sponsored by the American Red Cross and is open to the public. Appointments are recommended, however walk-ins are also welcome. The event location and times are as follows:

Prentice Women’s Hospital
250 E Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Tuesday, February 9
Prentice Women’s Hospital – Conference Room L South
11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 10
Prentice Women’s Hospital – Conference Room L North
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, please visit www.givebloodgivelife.org. Or, for additional information, please call 312-926-3048.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Monasteri, Manager

Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011