The Red Cross faces serious challenges in its ability to meet the nation’s need for lifesaving blood products. As demand grows, fueled by more aggressive treatments for certain diseases and an aging and changing population, the supply needs to keep pace. Blood from a donor with a similar ethnic background to that of the patients is less likely to be rejected or cause complications of illness.
“Having a safe, ample and robust blood supply ready to meet our region’s need not only helps save lives, but improved community resiliency,” said Tony Baker, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “You can help by donating blood and ensuring blood is there for anyone who needs it.”
Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are 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 more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to help those who rely on blood products.
Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged 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. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
How to donate blood:
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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, from a computer or mobile device. 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, CruzRojaAmericana.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.