NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 4, 2022 – The American Red Cross will compete with MEDIC to host a friendly competition on Feb. 7 to Feb. 10 in the first “Dunk for Donations” blood drive event to celebrate the Lady Vols and Vanderbilt Commodores basketball game. The organization that collects the most amount of red blood donations will be declared the winner of the competition following the drives.
“For the past seven months we have seen the blood crisis grow across the United States and here in Tennessee,” said Clif Redish, Interim Regional Donor Services Executive for American Red Cross. “We encourage all who can donate to join forces with both organizations and help us combat this great need for blood. People’s lives depend on donors who take the time to give such a great gift of life. We are looking forward to this competition and to the Vanderbilt University and University of Tennessee women’s basketball game on Feb. 13 in Knoxville.”
Historically low blood supply levels not seen in more than a decade persist for the American Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood. The ongoing decline comes at a time of year when donations typically fall.
The American Red Cross continues to face its first-ever national blood crisis and winter weather across the country has further complicated efforts to rebuild the blood supply. Donors of all blood types are urged to make an appointment now to give during the competition and in the weeks ahead. All who come to give blood Feb. 1-28, 2022, will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, thanks to Amazon, a free coffee coupon from Dunkin’ and a limited edition “Dunk for Donations” t-shirt (T-shirt is only for Feb. 7-11 donors). (Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/together.)
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.
Save time during donation
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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.
Health insights for donors
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 who require trait-negative blood. 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.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, 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 deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.