ST. PAUL, Minn. — The American Red Cross is encouraging the West Side community to help increase diverse blood donations. A special blood drive will be held April 20-21 at the Red Cross St. Paul Blood Donation Center. The blood drive will help educate and build awareness of the need for blood donors from all backgrounds.
Having a readily available and diverse blood supply continues to be important to meeting the medical needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. The best chance for a successful transfusion may come from blood donors of similar ethnic backgrounds to that of the patient.
Blood types are hereditary and certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. The demand is often higher for types O and B blood. Some ethnic groups have higher frequencies of these blood types and play a key role in ensuring availability for patients.
“Donating blood is an easy way to give back to your community and help your family, friends or someone across the street or across the nation who is in need of lifesaving blood products,” said Ann Anaya, board member with the American Red Cross Minnesota Region and senior council for 3M. “The work of the Red Cross is important and donating blood is one small way that you make a positive impact on another human being in a time of need.”
West Side community blood drive
Thursday, April 20, 1-7 p.m.
Friday, April 21, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Red Cross St. Paul Blood Donation Center
176 S. Robert St.
Spanish interpreters will be available and RapidPass is available online in Spanish.
The public can 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). A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check-in.
Special refreshments and snacks will be available, and all who come to give will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Visa gift card or other prizes.
Everyone is invited to donate blood. It takes about an hour and doesn’t cost the donor anything. Donors are given a mini-physical, including a hemoglobin, pulse and blood pressure check and temperature reading before each donation. Following the donation, donors enjoy a snack and refreshment before they leave.
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 donors can now 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, 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 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.