As fall approaches, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help end the ongoing critical need for blood and kick off the season with a blood donation. The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to give now and help ensure lifesaving transfusions are on the sidelines for those who rely on them.
While summer winds down, the Red Cross is concerned that the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant and a potentially active hurricane season may further challenge the ability to collect and meet hospital demand. In recent weeks, the Red Cross has seen blood donor turnout decline by nearly 10% while hospital demand continues to outpace donations. This decline is believed to be due to multiple reasons, including the continued effects of the pandemic on blood drive cancellations and donor availability as well as back-to-school preparations for many families.
Make a game plan to donate – patients are relying on the kindness of blood and donors for their continued treatment. Schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As a thank you, those who come to give Sept. 3-7 will receive a new, 16-ounce Red Cross campfire mug, while supplies last.
Sport Clips Haircuts and Red Cross partnership helps
Having a stable blood supply is the best defense against a shortage. This September, donors can do good and look good when they give blood or platelets as part of the Red Cross and Sport Clips Tackle the Need. Give Blood. campaign.
Those who come to give blood or platelets Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 30, 2021, at participating Sport Clips locations. Donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.
The Red Cross and Sport Clips encourage donors to use the hashtag #TackleTheNeed to share their new looks and invite others to give.
Upcoming area blood donation opportunities Sept. 1-15
9/2/2021: 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 1401 State Street
9/1/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Illinois Valley Chapter Donation Center, 1530 4th Street
9/15/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Illinois Valley Chapter Donation Center, 1530 4th Street
9/2/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Streator Park Place Conference Center, 406 Hickory Street
9/13/2021: 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 423 Wauponis Street
9/9/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Tampico United Methodist Church, 202 Lincoln Street, PO Box 336
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.
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.
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 not-for-profit 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.