(October 17, 2018) — As influenza activity picks up, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets to ensure a strong blood supply for patients in need.
Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well. One way to maintain health is to get a flu vaccine each fall. There is no waiting period to give blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.
Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed this fall after Hurricanes Michael and Florence forced the cancellation of about 200 blood drives, causing approximately 7,000 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected.
How to donate blood
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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
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.