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Red Cross Blood Drives

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021by bdust

Help tackle the need by giving blood with the Red Cross 

Upcoming Red Cross blood donation opportunities Sept. 1-15

9/3: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Dan Hecht Chevrolet-showroom, South Route 45, Effingham

 

9/9: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Ramsey Christian Church, 206 South Jefferson

 

9/10: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Flora First United Methodist Church, 103 E. 3rd Street, Flora

 

9/14: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Dutch Prairie Community, 983 N 1300th St, Shobonier

9/14: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Vandalia Moose Lodge, 328 South 3rd Street

 

As fall approaches, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help end the ongoing critical need for blood and kick off the season with a blood or platelet donation. The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to give now and help ensure lifesaving transfusions are on the sidelines for those who rely on them. 

While summer winds down, the Red Cross is concerned that the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant and a potentially active hurricane season may further challenge the ability to collect and meet hospital demand. In recent weeks, the Red Cross has seen blood donor turnout decline by nearly 10% while hospital demand continues to outpace donations. This decline is believed to be due to multiple reasons, including the continued effects of the pandemic on blood drive cancellations and donor availability as well as back-to-school preparations for many families.

In addition, September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. Tanjila Bolden was diagnosed at 18 months with sickle cell disease. Both of her parents carried the sickle cell trait, but Tanjila was the only one in her family to have the full-blown disease, which occurs in about 1 out of every 365 African American births. Those with the disease have red blood cells that are crescent- (or sickle-) shaped. As travel through the blood vessels, the sickle cells clog blood vessels. The condition requires frequent blood transfusions.

After struggling through many hospital visits, the native of Houston earned her high school diploma while living in St. Louis, where she moved when she was 8 years old. Tanjila’s high school graduation gift was a trip back to Houston, where she ended up being admitted to the hospital and told she had to have an exchange transfusion – the complete replacement of all her blood. Doctors said that while the procedure could kill Tanjila, doing nothing would definitely kill her. She chose to go through with the procedure, which meant sitting with limited pain medicine for hours as a machine slowly removed all her blood and replaced it with fresh donor blood. The transfusion saved her life. 

“People do not realize the power that is in blood—that the one bag of your blood you donate can save the lives of three people. I was wheeled into the room where the procedure took place—unable to walk and in a crisis. After the transfusion, I walked out of the room.”

Make a game plan to donate – patients are relying on the kindness of blood and platelet donors for their continued treatment. 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.

Donors who come to give throughout the month of September will receive a free haircut coupon by email from Sport Clips Haircuts. 

Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.    

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.  

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

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/RapidPassor use the Blood Donor App. 

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 not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visitredcross.orgor cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross

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