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Firefighters, Cops, and Dozens of Public Safety Agencies Join Red Cross in Calling for Urgently Needed Blood and Platelet Donations

Southern California Blood Services Region

February 7, 2014
 

Firefighters, cops, and dozens of public safety agencies join Red Cross in calling for urgently needed blood and platelet donations

Winter storms create urgent need for donors with types O, A negative and B negative

Los Angeles, CA. (January 30, 2014) — Thousands of badge-carrying heroes across Southern California are going head-to-head to help the American Red Cross save lives at a critical time. Local, state, and federal public safety agencies are strongly encouraging their ranks to roll up a sleeve and donate at community blood drives as a part of the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive initiative; a blood drive competition executed by the U.S. Probation Office and the American Red Cross.

The program’s execution is especially well-timed, considering the severe effects recent storms taken on our nation’s blood supply. Since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 American Red Cross blood drive cancellations nationwide and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations - the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its operations across the nation for more than an entire day.

The Need: Blood donations dramatically decline immediately after the New Year and at the onset of flu season.  Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in. “Blood is the life-saving resource needed when one of our colleagues is wounded in line of duty, or when one of our firefighters suffers severe burns,” said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck.  “It can also bring hope and a fighting chance to cancer patients, trauma victims and premature infants. Together, we can help the Red Cross, and have a substantial impact on the availability of blood for our friends and neighbors in need of a life-saving blood transfusion.”

Since start of this season’s campaign in December 2013, more than 1,500 lifesaving pints have been donated. Nearly all 50 of the remaining Battle of the Badges blood drives are open to the public and eligible donors of all blood types are needed now to help restock hospital shelves. For more information about the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive and how to participate, please visit redcrossblood.org/battle-of-the-badges or contact U.S. Probation Officer Mahogany Thomas at 213-894-0928.

How to donate blood

For more information or to schedule an appointment, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or schedule online. 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 CA), 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.

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