Donors Urgently Needed to Ensure Sufficient Blood Supply
With the long Independence Day holiday weekend approaching, the American Red Cross reminds eligible blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment within the next few days to help reverse a declining blood supply. As a thank you to those who continue to put blood and platelet donation on their ‘to do’ list during this busy holiday period, the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region is offering all presenting donors a chance to win one of three portable Garmin GPS units through a special Independence Day donor appreciation raffle June 27 through July 6, 2011. And, all summer long, all presenting donors 21 years of age and older are also eligible to win a grand prize trip for four to Orlando, Florida!
All blood types are needed, especially type O negative, B negative and A negative blood, and platelet donors. Rh negative blood types are always in high demand, because they potentially can be transfused to patients with Rh positive or Rh negative blood types. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Platelets have a shelf life of just five days making the need for regular donations that much more critical.
“The blood supply is in decline as many of our regular donors take vacations or are busy with family visits, celebrations, seasonal traditions and holiday activities,” said Linda Voss, CEO of River Valley Blood Services region. “Blood and platelet donors are needed now to avoid a shortage, especially leading up to and after the Independence Day holiday.”
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 permission 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
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.