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Give blood and help save lives this spring

April 3, 2017
 
Eligible blood donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood through the American Red Cross this spring to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.
 
Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.
 
Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a Power Red donation, where available. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
 
While donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood, type O, A negative and B negative donors are urged to give Power Reds if they meet the additional eligibility criteria. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type in an emergency. Similarly, type O positive can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. Power Red donations help ensure a stable supply of these critical blood types.
 
Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and Power Red donations may be made every 112 days, up to three times per year.
 
How to help
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
 
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
 
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
 
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