PORTSMOUTH (November 21, 2016) — In the 60 minutes it takes to bake a pumpkin pie, 1,800 units of blood or platelets may be transfused to patients. That’s why, as millions of Americans celebrate the holiday season and prepare for the new year, the American Red Cross is urging eligible donors to give blood or platelets for patients in need.
Blood donations often decline during the holidays when busy schedules, inclement weather and seasonal illnesses can make it more difficult for donors to make and keep donation appointments, but the need for blood doesn’t get a break for the holiday season. During the final two weeks of the year, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 175,000 blood and platelet donations to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.
As a thank you for donating around the Thanksgiving holiday, all who come to donate Nov. 24-28 will be invited to download a set of recipes from celebrity chefs.
Donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 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.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can also save time by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
The Red Cross urges donors who have made a commitment to donate during the holiday period to keep their appointments. Each appointment kept, and each donation given, offers hope to a patient in need.
The Red Cross hopes everyone has a safe and fun holiday season.
About the American Red Cross: The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has taught lifesaving skills, and provided disaster prevention, relief and recovery services to the Ohio River Valley since 1917. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or follow us on Twitter at @ORVRedCross or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ ORVRedCross.