Star Staff Reports
MEMPHIS — The American Red Cross urges blood donors to give in the final weeks of summer to help overcome a critical summer blood shortage.
The summer months are among the most challenging times of years to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs. Many regular donors delay giving while they take vacation and participate in summer activities. The need for blood doesn’t take a summer break though.
Two summers ago, Kelly Griswold was involved in a life-threatening jet-ski accident while vacationing. She was airlifted to a hospital and underwent three surgeries over the course of two days. Griswold, a blood donor prior to the accident, suddenly knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of blood donations. “Without the support of people that can give blood, the ones who have needed it would not be here today – myself included.”
Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to give now to help ensure blood is available for patients in need. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to donate again. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days, and double red cells can be donated every 112 days. In appreciation for helping to save lives, those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross now through Aug. 31 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.
Schedule an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
On Aug. 24 from 2-6 p.m., American Red Cross Chapter Memphis, 1399 Madison Avenue
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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.
For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.