BILOXI, Miss. (Aug. 18, 2020) – Blood donors are encouraged to help save lives at the 14th annual Hurricane Katrina Memorial Blood Drive Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Randolph Senior Center, 315 Clark Ave. in Pass Christian and Aug. 28 and 29 from noon to 7 p.m. at Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi. The blood drive commemorates the 15th anniversary of the devastation incurred when Katrina made landfall. Donors are encouraged to pay tribute to those impacted by the storm by making a lifesaving blood donation in honor of survivors, supporters and those who lost their lives as a result of the hurricane's destruction. When you donate blood, you can help give strength to kids, parents and grandparents who are in need of lifesaving blood. All presenting donors will receive a commemorative Gulf Coast Strong T-shirt, while supplies last.
In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed. Donors are needed to make and keep scheduled appointments to help meet the current need.
With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing large public observances, the Hurricane Katrina Blood Drive provides an opportunity for family and friends who are healthy and well to commemorate those who were impacted by this natural disaster by making a blood donation to help seriously ill and critically injured patients, while adhering to social distancing guidelines.” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager, Red Cross Alabama-Mississippi Blood Services Region.
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.
The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety precautions
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 ensure 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
For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. sponsor code: katrina. Donors of all blood types are needed. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, from a computer or mobile device on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. 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% 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.