MADISON, Wis. (Aug. 21, 2020) - The American Red Cross has a constant need for blood donations to help prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Join the UW Red Cross Club and help local patients by donating blood at the Red Cross UW Madison Kick Off Blood Drive Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hillel, 611 Langdon St., in Madison. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Donors are urged to give blood and help meet the constant need for blood products for patients battling diseases and facing the unexpected. As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
This drive comes as the Red Cross has a constant need for blood and encourages healthy individuals to schedule and keep blood donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply for patients throughout this coronavirus pandemic. All donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
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 protect the health of all those in attendance.
“Blood donors have played a vital role in the lives of patients who have needed lifesaving transfusions during this pandemic, and patients continue to depend on donors each and every day,” said Roxie Berra, donor recruitment account manager, Red Cross Blood Services. “The Red Cross appreciates the support of those who rolled up a sleeve to give in recent months, but the need doesn’t stop. We need the public’s help to avoid another blood shortage.”
It’s important to remember that red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within just five days. So, they must constantly be replenished. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross urgently needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
Blood donors of all types are needed. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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% 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.