PEORIA, Ill. (Nov. 19, 2020) — Be the lifeline patients need. Give something that means something – donate blood, convalescent plasma and help ensure patients have the blood products they need. The American Red Cross is partnering with WMBD CBS31, WYZZ Fox 43 and AMP Radio Group to host the 16th annual Peoria 12 Hours of Giving Blood Drive Thursday, Dec. 17, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 500 Hamilton Blvd., in Peoria. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
This is no ordinary blood drive. In fact, it is the largest single day Red Cross blood drive in the area with an expected goal of nearly 350 donations. Since its inception in 2004, the annual blood drive has collected over 7,000 lifesaving donations.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an essential need for all blood types, especially types O negative and positive. Blood and platelet donors are urged to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this winter. The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Dec. 18, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021, with an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.
The event will offer holiday music and movies, food from local restaurants, breakfast items from Starbucks and all participating donors will be entered to win hourly raffle items. The Red Cross will also showcase the lifesaving work they do in the community to provide vital services including disaster relief, health and safety classes, blood collection and services to the Armed Forces. This blood drive will also serve as a drop off site for Toys for Tots.
“We would never be able to host such a successful drive without the incredible support of the community,” said Caleb Liggin, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Year after year, the community steps up to the call for blood donations which goes toward helping to save lives. We are grateful for those who respond to the constant need for blood donations at such a critical time of the year.”
The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses.
Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.
Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – 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 and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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.