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American Red Cross asking for blood donations ahead of summer

Donate blood before May 19 and get a $10 e-gift card.
Credit: Pempki - stock.adobe.com

CLEVELAND — The American Red Cross says it's critically important that blood donors make an appointment before the busy summer months set in. Blood is needed to help maintain a stable blood supply in the coming months.  

When schools let out for the summer and families head off for vacations, blood donations tend to decline.  The need for blood however is year round. Volunteer blood donors are the only source of blood and platelets needed for patients with blood disorders, trauma victims and those experiencing difficult childbirths.

The Red Cross is offering incentives to people who help boost the blood supply! Anyone who donates through May 19, 2022, will get a $10.00 e-gift card to a merchant of choice and will be automatically entered to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps eight. Details are available at  rcblood.org/camper.

Donors who come to give blood May 20-31 will receive an exclusive 20-ounce Red Cross aluminum water bottle and customizable sticker set, while supplies last.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets or plasma, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-CROSS ( 1-800-733-2767). 

The Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time.  Results may indicate if the donor's immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus after vaccination or past exposure regardless of whether they developed symptoms.

Plasma from routine blood, platelet and plasma donations have high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used as a convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients with a weakened immune system.

The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose infection.  To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, its important that people who have been asked to quarantine or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation until they are symptom free for 10 days and feeling well and healthy.

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 antibody testing results and sickle cell trait screening results within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor  portal at RedCrossBlood.org. 

The American Red Cross follows a standard of safety and infection control. Donors are not required to wear a mask but can if they choose to.  The Red Cross will socially distance at blood drives , donation centers and facilities wherever possible.

Editor's note: the video above is from an unrelated story on the dangers of fake pills laced with fentanyl published on May 9, 2022.