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Red Cross partners with local Hispanic community to host first Hispanic Heritage Month Blood Drive

North Central

September 30, 2014
 

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The American Red Cross and the local Hispanic community announce the first Hispanic Heritage Month Blood Drive to held on Oct. 4 at the St. Paul Blood Donation Center. The blood drive is being held during Hispanic Heritage Month and will help educate and build awareness of the need for Hispanic blood donors.

As an inherited trait, many ethnic groups have rare blood types that are specific to race, ethnicity or genetic background. When blood types are matched closely, patients are at lower risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. For this reason, it is extremely important to increase the number of available blood donors from all ethnic groups.

Latin-American blood donors are more likely than other Americans to have type O blood. Type O blood is the most common blood type and is often in high demand by hospitals and routinely is in short supply. Type O negative is the universal type used frequently for emergency transfusions as most patients can receive it.

Without increased donations from these communities, there is a growing concern that the blood supply could face a serious imbalance if population shifts bring even more demand for type O transfusions.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Red Cross on this important health initiative. As our Hispanic community grows in Minnesota so will the reality that we have more Hispanics needing medical and health assistance,” said Richard Aguilar, president of Aguilar Productions. “It’s time for Hispanic community members to become blood donors because every pint counts.”

Hispanic Heritage Month Blood Drive:

Oct. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at American Red Cross, 176 Robert St. South, St. Paul

Donors can call 1-866-PORVIDA to schedule an appointment.

Minnesota’s #1 Latino Radio Station La Raza will broadcast live from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Donating blood is an easy way to give back to your community. It takes about an hour of your time and doesn’t cost the donor anything. Donors are given a mini-physical that includes a hemoglobin, pulse and blood pressure check before each donation. Following the donation, donors enjoy a snack and refreshment before they leave. 

How to donate blood
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 (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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBloodNC.