The American Red Cross hopes to send a simple yet important message to those tuning in to Sunday’s race in Michigan. Blood donations often decline during the summer. In order to remind race fans to continue to donate blood in the coming weeks and months, the statement “Give blood” in bold red letters will be on the hood of the No. 16 American Red Cross Ford during Sunday’s race.
Driver Greg Biffle is hoping the special paint scheme will bring attention to the needs of the Red Cross and those whose lives may be saved due to generous volunteer blood donors.
“As a blood donor myself,” said Biffle, “I encourage everyone who is eligible to give blood to call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org to find a convenient blood donation location and to schedule a lifesaving blood donation appointment.”
The Red Cross is extending blood drive hours and reaching out to eligible blood donors, sponsors and community leaders to ask them to help recruit type O negative blood donations to help meet the needs of patients in communities nationwide.
Type O negative blood can be in particularly high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Type O negative blood donors can make the difference between an adequate blood supply and a lingering summer shortage.
A shortage of type O negative blood often occurs during the summer months when fewer donors are giving because of summer vacations and schools approaching summer break are hosting fewer drives.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross must collect 22,000 units of blood each weekday and another 15,000 units each weekend to meet the needs of hospital patients across the country. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.