Give blood with Red Cross ahead of hectic holiday weeks
$10 Amazon.com Gift Card or T-shirt for donors this month
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 10, 2022) — As more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the American Red Cross asks donors to set aside a time to give blood for patients waiting for care over the holidays.
Throughout the season, several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.
- Travel: According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.
- Seasonal illness: The U.S. is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.
- Weather: Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.
It’s important for donors − especially type O blood donors − to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year. Type O negative is the universal blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for in the most serious situations when there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type; and type O positive blood can be transfused to any positive blood type patient and is also critical in trauma situations.
While type O is critically needed, blood donors of all types are urged to give now to help trauma patients and others who depend on lifesaving blood products. Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a thank-you, all who come to give blood through Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.* Those who come to give Dec. 16-Jan. 2 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Go to RedCrossBlood.org to see upcoming blood donation opportunities.
About every two seconds in the United States, blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, said Rachel Flanigan, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Southern Nevada Chapter. “The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, and we often see a decline in donations during the holiday season. We’re urging people to donate now,” she said.
In fact, the only way to obtain transfusable blood is through donations, Flanigan said. “For as long as medicine has been around, we’ve had to rely on the generosity of others to give blood so it’s available when needed,” she said. “Any of us – our friends, family, neighbors – could be in an accident or become ill some day and need blood. Yet, in the U.S., where 62% of the population is eligible to give, only 3% does.”
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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.
Amplify Your Impact − Volunteer
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for this critical position, contact Bonnie Cook at email@example.com or 702-268-3207 or visit RedCross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.