The American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Blood and platelet donations continue to be critical to meet hospital demand and the public is urged to make an appointment to give now.
The Red Cross has been distributing about 12 percent more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to this time last year. The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet the current hospital demand and end the severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially type O, which stands at just a one-day supply right now.
To thank donors who help ensure strong blood and platelet supply this month, all who come to give August 1-15, 2021, will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exclusive, VIP trip for two to the sold-out 2021 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Those who come to donate throughout August will also receive a free 4-month subscription offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). More details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/FeelTheBeat.
Donors who give now will help stock the shelves as the summer season winds down. 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.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities August 1-15:
August 5: 11 am – 7 pm, Prisma Health Parkridge, 400 Palmetto Health Pkwy
August 5: 11 am – 7 pm, Prisma Healtht Parkridge, 400 Palmetto Health Pkwy
August 4: 10 am – 3 pm, First Church of the Nazarene, 901 Saint Andrews Road
August 5: 11 am – 7 pm, Prisma Health Parkridge – 100 Building, 100 Palmetto Health Pkwy
August 9: 11 am – 5 pm, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 6952 St. Andrews Road
August 9: 1 – 6 pm, Christus Victor Lutheran, 400 Harbison Boulevard
August 1: Noon – 4 pm, New Life Community Church, 10809 Broad River Road
About blood donation
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.
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also 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
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 social distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and social distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.