While there has been a significant and encouraging response to the dire need for blood across the nation, the American Red Cross needs more people to give in the weeks ahead to recover from its worst blood crisis in more than a decade. Those interested in helping are urged to schedule the earliest-available blood or platelet donation appointment in their area to help ensure accident victims rushed to the emergency room, those being treated for cancer and others who count on blood product transfusions can receive lifesaving care without delay.

Since the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis alert, severe winter weather has further complicated efforts to rebuild the blood supply. Hundreds of blood drives have been canceled across the country due to winter storms in January, forcing about 6,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

As February approaches, and the effects from the spread of the omicron variant and winter weather persist, people are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets in the weeks ahead by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Those who come to give blood or platelets Feb. 1-28, 2022, will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, thanks to Amazon (Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/together).

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.

Save time during donation

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.

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.

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 who require trait-negative blood. 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.

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 visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

By VAntage Point Contributor

Share this story

Published on Feb. 3, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3.2 min.

Views to date: 2,242

9 Comments

  1. clayton February 11, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Have they also removed the restriction of people who lived in England in 1980?

  2. Gregg F Berentz February 11, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Can you donate NO Matter what prescriptions a person is taking

  3. Gregg F Berentz February 11, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    8 got denied because of the medication I take. Can you publish a List of prescriptions THAT Ban you from donating

  4. Louie February 11, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Is there a weight limit for donating blood or health requirements?

  5. WILLIAM D MITCHELL JR February 11, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Ohh waoo that is great. Where is the source? I being ban from donate for the mentioned.

  6. Carlo February 11, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Went to the link https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive and could not find a place within 50 miles of Colorado Springs, CO. ???

  7. Dale McInnis, SGM(R) February 11, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Just learned, after a 30+ year ban, that veterans and their families who were stationed/lived in Germany for at least 6 months, in the 1980s-1996 can now donate blood again. The FDA lifted that restriction in 2020. That change needs to be republished. That means up to 4.4 million Veterans, service members and civilians can now donate if they want to, barring any other disqualifiers.

  8. Jerrold W Peterson February 11, 2022 at 9:58 am

    EVERY BLOOD DRIVE NEAR BUTTE AND HELENA MONTANA ARE FULL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe hire some more people, just a thought. The money is there for 6 figure salaries for the executives.

  9. Duane February 11, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Please note that there are other blood donor centers across the nation, other than just American Red Cross and they all need donations.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • More than 821,000 Veterans who want the convenience of an easy app on their smartphones are downloading VA’s Health and Benefits mobile app.

  • Volunteers of America is offering Veterans free access to an online program that allows them to share their stories of moral injury and to connect with and support other Veterans.

  • Veterans can win a 2023 Toyota Tundra truck by entering the “Committed to America’s Heroes Sweepstakes” from Hiring Our Heroes.