October 26, 2016 – Since the American Red Cross launch one year ago, RapidPass has helped save at least 90,000 hours for blood and platelet donors nationwide. RapidPass streamlines the donation experience by allowing blood donors to complete pre-donation reading and health history questions online prior to arriving at a blood drive.
ONE MILLION RapidPass has been utilized by donors more than one million times since the option was introduced last year. For most donors, the entire blood donation process takes about an hour and RapidPass helps to speed up that process. The vast majority, approximately 75 percent of donors, using RapidPass complete the overall donation process from five to fifteen minutes faster than the average non-user.
“The Red Cross strives to provide an excellent experience for all of our generous donors who graciously take time out of their busy schedules to roll up a sleeve for patients in need,” said Jodi Sheedy, director of Biomedical Services Communications. “We truly value our donors’ commitment to helping to save lives and will continue to look for ways to enhance their donation experience as part of our dedication to them.”
Here’s how it works: RapidPass technology allows donors to answer health history questions from a personal computer, then print their RapidPass or show the PDF on their mobile device when they arrive to donate. At the blood drive, Red Cross staff scan the RapidPass form, review the donor’s answers and complete all other aspects of the health history exam.
To learn more about RapidPass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT Donors can save additional time by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule a specific time to donate. The smoothest and fastest donations occur when donors make an appointment and use RapidPass.
Each day, the Red Cross needs to collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The Red Cross asks eligible donors of all blood types to make an appointment now to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients in need.
Whole blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most 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.
Platelet donors can roll up a sleeve every seven days, up to 24 times year. Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation. It’s important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible to help ensure this potentially lifesaving blood product is available for patients whenever and wherever needed.