MADISON, Wis. (Sept. 1, 2021) – To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 the American Red Cross, the Madison Police Department and the Madison Fire Department are hosting the 10th annual Never Forget Blood Drive Saturday, Sept. 11 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Madison Fire Station 14, 3201 Dairy Dr.
The Madison Police and Fire Departments began hosting Red Cross blood drives in 2012. Since that first drive was held, over seven hundred lifesaving donations have been collected. This year they anticipate exceeding the one thousandth donation milestone.
“On this anniversary, we will never forget the heroes and victims lost to the terrorist attacks of 9/11,” said Kyle Krieg, Executive Director for the Southwest Wisconsin Chapter of the American Red Cross. “It is fitting, therefore, that we have a blood drive to remember this event. Giving blood is a simple way to honor those heroes and put Madison’s spirit of service into action.”
In recent weeks, the Red Cross has seen a 10% decrease in the number of blood donors coming out to give. This decline in donors is believed to be due to multiple reasons, including the continued effects of the pandemic on blood drive cancellations and donor availability as well as back-to-school preparations for many families.
Donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment to give now. All presenting donors will receive a $15 Visa gift card (via email) courtesy of Suburban Propane, and a custom T-shirt, while supplies last. Donors who come to give in September will also receive a free haircut coupon by email from Sport Clips Haircuts.
Emergencies of all types occur daily in communities nationwide. The Red Cross encourages people to be prepared should an emergency strike in their neighborhood. Part of being prepared is ensuring an adequate blood supply. Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.
With more and more individuals receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, in most cases, vaccinated individuals can donate blood and platelets. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they receive is important in determining blood donation eligibility.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, schedule online, call 1-800-RED CROSS or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 have to 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% 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.