While donors across the country have rolled up a sleeve to give this summer, the need for blood and platelets remains crucial for patients relying on lifesaving transfusions. The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage and donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now.
Right now, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demand as hospitals respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries.
To thank donors who help refuel the blood and platelet supply this month, all who come to give by July 31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email and will also receive automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). More information and details are available at rcblood.org/fuel. Also, all those who come to donate throughout the entire month of July will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm. To learn more, visit rcblood.org/CedarFair.
Donors in this area have several options, whether it is visiting a blood drive or a fixed blood donation site.
In San Joaquin County, blood drives are scheduled Mondays, July 19 and 26 from noon to 6 p.m. at the VFW Veterans Center, 580 Moffatt Blvd., Manteca and also on Tuesday, July 27 in Ripon at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, 517 Orange Ave., from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Also, the North Stockton Blood Donation Center is open various days and hours, and is at 2888 W. March Lane.
Stanislaus County has a drive scheduled in Oakdale for Friday, July 30 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1111 E. A St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fixed site in Modesto is also open various days and hours, at 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave.
Nearby Tuolumne County has a fixed site, the Sonora Blood Donation Center, at 850 Sanguinetti Road, Sonora, and is open various days and times to accept blood donations.
Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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 not-for-profit 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 visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.