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New Red Cross mobile unit begins journey of saving lives

North Central

March 31, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region announces the launch of the newest member of its mobile blood donation fleet. This new state-of-the-art vehicle will be unveiled on Monday, March 31 at the Red Cross North Central Blood Services office in St. Paul.

“Our staff is very excited to get the bus on the road,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the North Central Region. “We are so grateful to Smiths Medical for helping us make this investment in our region. It will help provide more convenience for donors to give lifesaving blood.”

The newest addition to the Red Cross fleet was made possible by the substantial support from and partnership with Smiths Medical, sponsor of the annual Red Cross Run for Blood quarter marathon and 5K run/walk held at Lake Calhoun. In addition, Cambria generously designed and installed custom quartz countertops to help give the bus a modern feel with extra durability.

The interior of the new bus offers greater climate control and a more open floor plan, providing a more comfortable donor experience. Among the new features are five donor beds with reversible beds. These features allow either a right or left arm donation, which means donors won’t have to wait for a bed that meets their arm preference.

Added features of the bus include an LCD billboard on the exterior and iPads installed with all of the Red Cross apps at each donor bed. The technology will provide donors the opportunity to become more familiar with the Red Cross while donating. This is the first time the Red Cross has offered this experience on a bloodmobile, and in the future donors will also be able to schedule their next donation appointment or share a story while they are donating.

The new bus will collect whole blood products and has the capacity to collect automated double red cell donations. Double red donations allow donors to give two red cell units while plasma and some saline solutions are returned to the donor. Overall, less blood volume is given than a whole blood donation, but the donation of red cells is increased making this a more concentrated and consistent product for patients.

The exterior of the shiny, 40-foot long red and white bus with the large Red Cross logo offers donors the simple reminder to please give blood. An LCD billboard and QR code will help communicate the current need for blood or provide donors with important information. The mobile blood donation bus is a visual reminder of the importance of blood donation to help save lives.

The bus will be used regularly at blood drives throughout the region at many different locations, including churches and businesses.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Smiths Medical
Smiths Medical is a leading supplier of specialized medical devices and equipment for global markets, focusing on the medication delivery, vital care and safety devices market segments. It is part of Smiths Group, a global leader in applying advanced technologies for markets in threat and contraband detection, energy, medical devices, communications and engineered components. Smiths Group employs around 23,000 people in more than 50 countries.

About Cambria
Cambria is a stain resistant, nonporous natural quartz surface that is harder, stronger, safer and easier to care for than other stone surfaces. Cambria is the only privately held, family-owned, American made producer of natural quartz surfaces in the United States. Headquartered in Le Sueur, Minnesota, Cambria is sold through an exclusive North American network of premium, independent specialty retail and trade partners which can be identified at