Last week, the American Red Cross declared a national blood crisis, as its blood supply has fallen to its lowest levels in more than a decade amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. Over the weekend, winter weather affecting the Midwest, East and South further complicated efforts to rebuild the nation’s blood supply.
In January, the Red Cross has had more than 170 blood drives cancelled across the country due to winter storms resulting in approximately 5,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. With more blood drives anticipated to be affected by winter weather in the coming days and weeks, additional blood donors are needed now, particularly individuals in areas currently unaffected by winter weather.
The Red Cross urges eligible individuals to roll up a sleeve to help ensure people in their communities receive the care they need. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
A single blood donation can help save more than one life – a patient battling cancer, a car accident victim, or a parent experiencing a difficult childbirth. There is no greater gift than the gift of life.
The Red Cross appreciates the patience of blood donors and blood drive hosts. As the nation faces the latest challenges of this pandemic environment, there may not be an immediate appointment available or an individual may be asked to reschedule an appointment — but donors are still needed. The Red Cross is grateful for donors’ understanding as the organization works tirelessly to meet the needs of patients.
Special Thank You to Those Who Come to Give
The Red Cross and the NFL are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to kick off 2022 with a blood or platelet donation. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are still eligible to donate blood and platelets. Knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they receive is important in determining blood donation eligibility.
About Blood Donation
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.