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Blood shortage worst in over 10 years; donors can win trip to Hawaii

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Despite ongoing appeals to donors and the public, the American Red Cross emergency blood and platelet shortage continues.

The current blood supply is the lowest the Red Cross has seen this time of year in more than a decade.

The Red Cross is urging donors to continue to make and keep appointments now and in the weeks ahead to help overcome the ongoing emergency blood and platelet shortage that has significantly impacted the nation’s blood supply.

Since declaring an emergency need for donors last month, thousands of people have come to Red Cross blood drives across the country to donate and help patients who are counting on lifesaving transfusions. At least 10,000 more donations are needed each week in the coming weeks to meet patient needs because the upcoming holiday season always presents seasonal challenges to blood collection.

Donors are urged to schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

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.

People who come to give between Nov. 1-12 will automatically be entered to win a trip for two to Hawaii, courtesy of Amazon Prime Video. The trip includes round-trip airfare for two, hotel accommodations for nine nights, meals, tour stops from Honolulu to Maui, a $1,000 gift card for expenses and on-trip transportation included.

Anybody who comes to donate Nov. 1-23 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email.

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions, such as face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

Health insights for donors 

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 identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. 

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.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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