Fort McCoy, Wis. –
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.
To help meet that need, Fort McCoy community members gave blood July 16 at the installation. Additional blood drives are scheduled in nearby communities in the future.
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.
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 1-800-733-2767, 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. 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 www.redcrossblood.org.
(Article prepared by the American Red Cross.)