The American Red Cross is partnering with community first responders in Radnor Township and the Borough of Norristown to hold two “Battle of the Badges” blood drives this June.
Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition that helps the Red Cross meet patient and hospital demand for blood. Departments compete to see who can recruit the most eligible community blood donors. On Monday, June 7, Radnor Township Police Department and Fire Company will hold their inaugural Battle of the Badges blood drive at the Radnor Township Activity Center, 125 S. Wayne Ave. The next day, Tuesday, June 8, Norristown Police and Fire departments will compete against the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at their fourth annual Battle of the Badges drive at the Norristown Recreation Center, 1101 Harding Blvd.
Both drives run from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. All presenting donors will receive a free T-shirt, while supplies last. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor codes RADNOR or Norristown BOB or call 1-800-REDCROSS.
As the nation transitions to a new, hopeful phase of this devastating pandemic and people begin to return to some of their favorite activities, the Red Cross is concerned about the impact this could have on blood donor turnout and the blood supply this summer. The need for lifesaving blood transfusions never takes a break. It is critical to have blood ready to go when every second counts.
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through July 24. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also 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 antibody test and 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
The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.