While protecting and serving the community, members of the Topeka Police and Fire Departments see the need for blood firsthand. To help raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood, Topeka’s first responders will be partnering with the American Red Cross for the inaugural Topeka Red Cross Battle of the Badges blood drive.
The community can help honor these community heroes by rolling up a sleeve and donating blood for patients in need at the Battle of the Badges blood drive May 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Holliday Building, 620 SE Madison.
During the Battle of the Badges blood drive, the Topeka Police and Fire Departments will compete to recruit the most eligible donors to give blood. All who come to donate during the Battle of the Badges blood drive will receive a commemorative T-shirt, while supplies last and get to cast a vote to help determine which group will win the Topeka Battle of the Badges competition.
“We’re so grateful to be working with Topeka’s finest and to give the community an opportunity to donate blood to honor their heroes,” said Susan Faler, Donor Recruitment account manager, Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Region. “A blood donation only takes about an hour but can lead to a lifetime of memories for someone receiving a transfusion.”
The Topeka Battle of the Badges blood drive occurs as the Red Cross urges eligible donors to give during Trauma Awareness Month in May. Donors of all blood types are needed to ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries and other serious medical needs.
According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S. annually. A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood.
In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma.O negative red blood cells and AB plasma can be transfused into any patient, regardless of blood type, making donors with these universal blood types an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.
Every day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations to meet patient needs. To make an appointment at the Topeka Battle of the Badges blood drive, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767,) and use sponsor code Topeka.
How to donate blood
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, 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.