Red Cross asking for holiday blood donatations

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American Red Cross

The Red Cross is asking Orange County residents to donate blood.

As the holidays approach and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns about a potential spike in flu cases this year, it’s important that those who are eligible, healthy and feeling well make an appointment to donate blood or platelets. The American Red Cross continues to address an ongoing emergency blood shortage, and donors are urged to give now to combat the lowest blood supply levels at this time of year in more than a decade.

According to the CDC, flu cases reached an all-time low last year due to masking, physical distancing and shutdowns across the country, and many Americans may have reduced immunity this year. When seasonal illness increases, the number of healthy blood donors tends to decrease. Paired with winter weather, busy holiday schedules and ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the already-struggling blood supply could be further impacted throughout winter.

There is no blood donation waiting period for those who have received a flu shot or a Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or booster, so long as they are symptom-free. 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 encourage donors to help meet the needs of hospital patients this month, all who come to donate Nov. 1-23 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.* Those who come to give around the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 24-28, will receive a pair of Red Cross socks, while supplies last.

Below is a list of upcoming blood donation opportunities through Nov.30 in Orange County
• Anaheim
11/12/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., WorldMark, 201 W. Katella Ave
11/24/2021: 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Brewery X, 3191 E La Palma Avenue
• Buena Park
11/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Buena Park Library, 7150 La Palma Ave.
11/26/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Buena Park Downtown, 8308 On the Mall
• Los Alamitos
11/28/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St Isidore Historical Plaza, 10961 Reagan Street
11/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 11600 Los Alamitos Blvd
• Rossmoor
11/17/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rossmoor Home Owners Association, 3031 Blume Dr
• Seal Beach
11/11/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 340 10th St
11/24/2021: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mary Wilson Library, 707 Electric Ave
• Westminster
11/15/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Westminster Community Services, 8200 Westminster Blvd
11/26/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Westminster Mall, 100 Westminster Mall

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
The Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from individuals who identify themselves as 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.

Red Cross asking for holiday blood donatations