(Oct. 27, 2020) — The University of Alabama and Auburn University are on a lifesaving mission with the American Red Cross and need your help. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, each school wants to collect the most pints of blood for hospital patients in need and win bragging rights. Auburn University will hold blood drives Nov. 10-12 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center. The University of Alabama will hold blood drives Nov. 10-12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ferguson Center.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Blood is needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“We are excited to be able to use the football rivalry between Auburn University and The University of Alabama to benefit these blood drives,” said Robert Powers, service programs advisor for the Office of Student Involvement, Auburn University. “Through this friendly competition we will be able to help save lives and that is the ultimate goal.”
Presenting donors will receive a T-shirt and pizza, while supplies last. “This friendly competition is a great way for students, facility, staff and fans to show school pride and help ensure a stable blood supply,” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager of the Red Cross Alabama-Mississippi Blood Services Region.
Donors of all blood types are urged to help ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, patients fighting cancer need more blood than those with any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply.
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 an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. 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.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. 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
For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. sponsor code for Alabama blood drives: BAMA; sponsor code for Auburn blood drives: beatbama. Donors of all blood types are needed. 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 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, from a computer or mobile device on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. 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.