Blood donations needed before summer vacations begin

blood donation
Posted at 3:41 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 16:41:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — While summer can mean vacations and fun getaways for many, for the American Red Cross it represents a time of declining blood donations.

The need for blood doesn't take a break, and donations are the only source of blood and platelets for patients with blood disorders, trauma victims and those experiencing difficult childbirths. Donors can help save a life in just one hour.

To motivate potential donors to show up, all who give blood through May 19 will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice and will be automatically entered to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps eight.

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

To donate, a volunteer will need a blood donor card, driver's license or two other forms of identification at check-in. Donors must be a minimum of 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets or plasma, visit the Red Cross website or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Interested donors may also call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED CROSS). All blood types are needed.

To expedite the donation process, the Red Cross offers a RapidPass option to complete pre-donation reading and a health history questionnaire before arriving.

The Red Cross will test all donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, indicating whether the antibodies are produced after vaccination or past exposure regardless of symptoms. Plasma from routine donations with high levels of antibodies may be used to meet future needs of COVID-19 patients with a weakened immune system.

The Red Cross asks that donors wait until they are COVID-free and symptom-free for at least 10 days before attempting to donate. A donation appointment will not double as a diagnostic test.

Blood drives will be as socially distanced as possible and face masks, while encouraged, will not be required.