MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard “Dic” Donohue, Jr., never thought he would need a blood transfusion. He also never thought he would be shot in the line of duty in an intense gun battle with the accused Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Both happened in April, 2013, affecting Donohue’s life and his outlook on the need for blood donors. Donohue needed more than 46 blood products to help save his life.
“I’m a living, breathing example of how blood saves lives,” Donohue said recently. He’s shared that sentiment with hundreds over the past year as he has partnered with the American Red Cross to advocate for blood donation. And, since the launch of the new Red Cross Blood Donor App on Sept. 9, he has encouraged everyone who will listen to download the app, which makes it easier, faster and more convenient to give blood.
“Anonymous blood donors and their selfless act saved my life,” he told fellow law enforcement officers in Las Vegas the day the app became available. “You have the power to change someone’s life. Donate blood.”
DOWNLOAD THE APP TODAY The Blood Donor App is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.
The new app allows users to schedule and manage their donation appointments, track the lifetime impact of their donations and recruit friends and family to roll up a sleeve with them. It’s a new way to help meet the constant need for blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood each day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, children with blood disorders and others. The many features of the Blood Donor App – from the ability to schedule and manage appointments, to personalized selfies and exclusive offers, discounts and rewards – encourage donors to help save lives through the Red Cross.
Of course, eligible blood donors do not need a smart phone to schedule an appointment to give blood. Appointments can always be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org.
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.