FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the perfect gift this holiday season – a lifesaving blood or platelet donation. By rolling up a sleeve, donors can help ensure patients continue to receive treatment throughout the holiday season.
Busy holiday schedules and travel plans make it more challenging for regular donors to give, and many businesses and organizations postpone hosting blood drives during the holiday season for these same reasons. This can lead to a decline in blood donations, but the need is constant.
“While many of us gather with friends and family this time of year, patients may spend the holidays in a hospital room,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager of the Red Cross Indiana Ohio Blood Services Region. “The need for blood doesn’t take a break for the holidays. Please make an appointment to give the most meaningful gift of all – the gift of life through a blood or platelet donation.”
Power Red maximizes donations
Blood donors with type O, B negative and A negative blood can help more patients with one appointment by making a Power Red donation at select Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells – the most commonly transfused blood component. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and are frequently give to trauma and surgery patients. During a Power Red donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and plasma and platelets are then safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
“With just a little extra time at their appointment, donors can have an even greater impact on patients in need,” added Wilson.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Williams County:
12/8/2016: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Knights of Columbus Bryan, 1216 Buffalo Road
12/16/2016: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Parkview Physician Group – MCHA, 442 W High Street, Unit 3
12/6/2016: 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ck Tech, 1701 Magda Dr.
12/2/2016: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Stryker High School, 400 South Defiance Street
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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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 http://www.redcross.org/volunteer