By Mike Lawler, American Red Cross Volunteer
Supplies of all blood types are at alarmingly low levels across the country, with a critically low supply of type O blood and platelets on hand. As we move into the summer, blood donations are needed especially around holidays like Independence Day, as donations often don’t keep pace with patient needs.
Right now, just 3 out of every 100 people in the U.S. donate blood – and that’s not enough. The summer months can be incredibly challenging for blood collection. The American Red Cross encourages everyone who is able to make an appointment, roll up a sleeve and help keep the shelves stocked.
When you donate blood you help people like cancer patients, accident victims, those undergoing surgical procedures and patients with serious medical conditions. The only source of lifesaving blood products for patients is volunteer blood donors. No matter what your blood type is, the Red Cross needs you.
On Wednesday, July 3, the American Red Cross Serving Orange County will be hosting a special blood drive at its Santa Ana headquarters location at 600 Parkcenter Dr. from 11:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
In addition to the juice, cookies, and crackers available at all blood donation events, there will also be popcorn and ice cream. Special Red Cross T-shirts will be given to all donors, and there will be a drawing for extra surprises.
“So far there are registrations for 30 of the 76 available time slots for this event,” says Peter Vu, a Santa Ana Coordinator and Automated Collections Associate at the Blood Center. “We’d really like to fill up all 76 spots!”
Can you help fill these spots? Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Encourage friends, family, neighbors, and even co-workers to help the Red Cross by donating lifesaving blood – a gift that cannot be made, only given.
Make your appointment to donate by signing up online. Visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive and search "92705," then select the July 3 blood drive to view available appointment times.
A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Donation appointments are encouraged to reduce possible wait times.
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 Red Cross Blood Donor App.
If you can’t make it to the July 3 blood drive, you can always make an appointment to give at a time that’s convenient for you. Become a blood donor today – you don’t need to know your blood type to make a lifesaving blood donation. Schedule your next blood donation by using the Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).