The American Red Cross hopes that fairgoers will close out the summer on a positive note by giving blood donation a spin at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
This year, a ‘pop-up' Red Cross blood donation center will transform the North End Event Center (located north of Murphy Avenue at the north end of the fairgrounds) all 12 days of the fair. The new donation site will enhance the donation experience and allow the Red Cross to have more staff and more space to create a comfortable donation experience for fairgoers. The center will also include Power Red machines so eligible donors can donate nearly twice the amount of red cells and help more patients.
Donors are strongly encouraged to schedule their donation appointment in advance at redcross.org/mnstatefair. All who come to give will receive a special Red Cross gift, while supplies last.
This blood donation opportunity comes as the Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the county. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give to prevent further impact to patients.
“We’re grateful to the Minnesota State Fair for providing us with the space this year to collect more blood as hospital demand continues to be on the rise,” says Bob Bruce, Regional Donor Services Executive, Minnesota and Dakotas Region. “This summer's severe blood shortage and ongoing disaster responses mean the need for blood donations is great. We’re counting on the generosity of Minnesotans to pay it forward and help those in need of lifesaving blood products. Together, we can make a real impact for patients in need.”
Red Cross Special Event Participation:
Friday, Aug. 27 – 23rd annual Governor’s Fire Prevention Day: Look for the Red Cross near Dan Patch Park (Chambers Street and Carnes Avenue) where volunteers will show how the Red Cross uses their NextGen mobile feeding truck during disaster response.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 – 10th annual Military Appreciation Day: Red Cross Service to Armed Forces representatives will be sharing information about Red Cross services to military members and their families. Fairgoers are also invited to visit with a Red Cross representative to learn about the most needed volunteer positions. Come find our table in Dan Patch Park from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
About blood donation
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.