Sickle Cell is the most common genetic blood disease in the U.S., affecting as many as 100,000 people, most of them African-American and Latino. A diverse blood supply is important to ensure the needs of all patients are met. Red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups. Because blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the American Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply to meet these diverse patient needs.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross is urging individuals to help ensure blood is never missing from hospital shelves by donating blood or platelets through the Missing Types campaign. The goal of Missing Types is to inspire new blood donors and those who haven’t given in a while to give this summer and become a regular blood donor for patients in need in the years to come. For the past four years, new Red Cross blood donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. More blood donors are needed now to fill the gaps.
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 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
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.