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Metro Creative Graphics

Summer alert: Blood and platelet donors needed now


Tue, Jun 4th 2024 07:00 am

Thousands of donations uncollected in May, but patients still need care

√ Come to give through June 9 for an exclusive Tetris + Red Cross T-shirt

Submitted by the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross critically needs blood and platelet donors now following a concerning trend over the past month – fewer donors rolling up a sleeve to give lifesaving blood. In fact, about 20,000 fewer blood donations were collected over the past month than needed to maintain the Red Cross national blood supply.

Make an appointment to give now by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by using the Red Cross blood donor app.

Severe weather and historic travel in May contributed to fewer blood donations. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), five of the busiest travel days ever happened this month and more record-breaking travel is expected all season long – a busy time when many regular donors may be unable to give.

Additionally, as the U.S. approaches what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer for auto accidents, it’s critical hospitals have lifesaving blood products on hand for all trauma and accident victims who count on transfusions when there is no time to waste. In some of the most dire situations, medical teams may need to use hundreds of blood products to save a life.

Help build the blood supply

The Red Cross has teamed up with Tetris, creators of the iconic, best-selling video game, to celebrate their 40th anniversary and build the blood supply for patients in need. In commemoration, all who answer the call to help May 20-June 9 will get an exclusive Tetris + Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, plus be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to New York to meet Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov. See RedCrossBlood.org/Tetris for details.

Pajitnov, a recent first-time blood donor, says now is the time to help patients play on: “I think it’s very important to not just talk about people united together and helping each other, but doing it with your real action, and that’s what I tried to do this time. So, play Tetris and donate blood!”

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. 

More 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 nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow on social media. 

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