Donors urged to help the Red Cross maintain blood supply

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Severe winter weather, flu disrupting blood donations

Winter storms and the flu don’t just mean a lot of people are missing work and school—it also means they can’t keep their American Red Cross blood and platelet donation appointments. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need.

In 2018, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, widespread flu across the U.S. has resulted in lower turnout at blood drives.

Blood and platelet donations are needed in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply and ensure patients continue to receive life-saving treatments. Donors can help even more patients when they invite a loved one, friend, or co-worker to give with them.

Make an appointment to donate this winter by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming February blood donation opportunities 

Anaheim

Feb. 20: 1:30-7:30 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 440 N. Loara

Feb. 26: 1-7 p.m., Canyon Hills Presbyterian Church, 190 S. Fairmont

Buena Park

Feb. 23: 12-6 p.m., Buena Park Downtown, 8308 On the Mall

Cypress

Feb. 27: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Department of Toxic Substances Control, 5796 Corporate Ave.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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.

Volunteers needed

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products. For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit rdcrss.org/driver.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters feed and provide emotional support to victims of disasters, supply about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teach skills that save lives, provide international humanitarian aid, and support 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.

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