(May 21, 2018) — The American Red Cross is counting on volunteer donors to give blood and help ensure patient needs can be met this summer.
Around Memorial Day, the Red Cross sees a steep decline in blood donations. Busy summer schedules, vacations and school breaks also cause a drop in donations. Accidents and medical emergencies don’t take a summer break – patients need blood every minute, every day.
In the summer of 1973, Ramona Johnson was playing at the park when she was injured jumping off the swings. She was bleeding profusely from a 7-inch gash in her leg. By the time she reached the hospital, she needed an emergency transfusion. She credits the donors who took the time to give blood with helping to save her life.
Johnson’s childhood experience receiving blood compelled her to make her first blood donation more than 10 years ago. “A little voice told me that this would be a great way to give back,” she said. “I have been faithfully donating every eight weeks since.”
The public is asked to schedule an appointment to help ensure that hospitals and patients have the blood they need this summer. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through June 10, 2018, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) Additionally, those who come to give May 25-29, will receive an exclusive Red Cross branded T-shirt, while supplies last.
How to donate blood
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, 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.