Flu season could affect Red Cross blood supply; more donors needed

Flu season could affect Red Cross blood supply;  more donors needed

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The American Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to donate now and help combat the potential impact of seasonal illnesses and a potentially serious flu season on the blood supply.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts a serious spread of the flu this year and is already reporting an early rise in cases in several states. When seasonal illnesses increase, the number of healthy donors tends to decrease, making the Red Cross blood supply vulnerable to possible shortages during the holidays.

Coupled with busy holiday schedules, seasonal illnesses can make it difficult to collect the blood hospital patients need this winter. Donors, especially those with type O blood and those who donate platelets, can help bolster the blood supply now by making an appointment to donate in the coming weeks.

There is no waiting period to donate blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot. Make an appointment using the Red Cross blood donation app by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Learn more about flu safety and prevention at redcross.org/flusafety.

As a thank you, the Red Cross is offering several opportunities to donors this month:

  • Everyone who comes to donate November 1-22 will receive a $10 eGift Card to the merchant of their choice. Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.
  • Those who come to donate during the Thanksgiving holiday, November 23-27, will receive a Red Cross knit hat, while supplies last.
  • All who come to help from November 28 to December 28. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card via email, thanks to Amazon. Details are available at rcblood.org/together.

Visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter your zip code to find a donation site near you.

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 is required at check-in. People who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where state law allows), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors under the age of 18 must also meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time on their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of your donation, before you arrive for blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions on RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor app.

Oregon and Washington still require the use of face masks at all donation sites and blood drives.

Amplify your impact − Volunteer!

Another way to support the life-saving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador for 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 life-saving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. To learn more and apply for any of the positions, visit https://www.redcross.org/volunteertoday.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and comforts victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches life-saving skills; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to fulfill its mission. For more information please visit redcross.org either AmericanRedCross.orgor visit us on Twitter at @Red Cross.

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