The Daily Press

Red Cross: Three reasons to give blood this month


One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusio­n. At the same time, only about 3% of Americans give blood. The American Red Cross needs more people to make and keep appointmen­ts to give blood or platelets in February and has three great reasons to do so:

• Help prevent a blood shortage:

Winter brings seasonal illness and dangerous weather, which can hurt the blood supply. When donors give now, they can help ensure blood is on hospital shelves when it’s needed.

• It’s Heart Month:

During a blood donation appointmen­t, the Red Cross checks donors’ blood pressure and pulse, which are important indicators of heart health.

• Treat yourself:

All who come to give in February will get a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. Those who come to donate this month will also automatica­lly be entered to win a trip for two to Clearwater Beach, Florida. Details are available at RedCrossBl­

Donors of all blood types – particular­ly type O blood donors, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelet donors are needed daily to meet demand. Protect the blood supply from dropping – book a time to give blood or platelets by visiting RedCrossBl­, downloadin­g the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBl­, 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 checkin. 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 predonatio­n 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 RedCrossBl­ 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 blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassador­s help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.

Volunteers can also serve as transporta­tion specialist­s, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more informatio­n and to apply for either position, visit volunteert­oday.

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