MADISON, Wis. (Jan. 28, 2021) — Join the American Red Cross and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Red Cross Club in helping to save lives at the UW Badgers Give Back Blood Drive Wednesday, Feb. 10 and Thursday, Feb.11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hillel
611 Langdon St., in Madison. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
As COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma – leading to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.
Since March 2020, many students, staff and faculty have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19. Now these individuals can help by simply giving whole blood. The Red Cross invites all eligible blood donors to rally around a lifesaving cause. If you are on or off campus, there’s no better way to celebrate the giving nature of the community than by helping the Red Cross maintain a stable blood supply.
All presenting donors at this blood drive will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give this February will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
“The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations,” said Roxie Berra, donor recruitment account manager, for the Red Cross Wisconsin Blood Services Region. “We are so thankful for generous donors that give blood especially amid the pandemic.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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.