SAN DIEGO (June 10, 2021) — Pechanga Arena San Diego and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help hospital patients through a community blood drive Thursday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3500 Sports Arena Blvd.
As more people schedule their vaccination appointments and life begins to feel more normal again for many Americans, the need for blood remains constant. The Red Cross currently has an emergency need for type O blood donors as hospital demand for these blood products continues to outpace donations. San Diegans can help by donating blood to help ensure cancer patients, which use nearly ¼ of the U.S. blood supply, trauma victims, surgery patients and others receive the blood products they need.
Blood drives are an essential service providing a medical necessity to hospital patients. With hundreds of school and university blood drives cancelled, donors and blood drive hosts like Pechanga Arena San Diego are helping make up for the shortfall that may otherwise impact the blood supply. Pechanga Arena San Diego has hosted and co-hosted 11 blood drives since April 2020, helping collect more than 1,000 units of blood products for hospital patients in need.
As a thank you, all who come to donate June 14-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Restrictions apply and are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together. Patients rely on volunteer donors to receive blood transfusions since blood is perishable and cannot be manufactured or stockpiled.
Appointments are required and can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device, and using sponsor code Pechanga.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
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.
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through June 25. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. 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.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also 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 antibody test and 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.