Community encouraged to give during severe blood shortage

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Aug. 2, 2021) — The American Red Cross is once again inviting the community to roll up a sleeve and help overcome a severe blood shortage by donating blood at the seventh annual Lifesaver Blood Drive on Aug. 13, 14 and 16 at several convenient locations around the St. Louis and Southwestern Illinois areas.

This year’s Lifesaver Blood Drive come as the Red Cross faces has an emergency need for blood donors of all types to ensure a stable blood supply. The Red Cross continues to distribute more blood products to hospitals across the country compared to the same time last year. For the past three months, the Red Cross has sent 12% more blood products to hospitals each day to help patients in need. Hospitals continue to see patients who previously deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, therefore requiring increased blood transfusions. All presenting blood donors will receive a special edition ‘Lifesaver’ T-shirt, while supplies last.

“The Lifesaver Blood Drives are a key drive for us as we try to navigate our way through this severe blood shortage,” said Chris Baker, Regional Donor Services Executive, Red Cross of Missouri and SW/SE Illinois. “These drives were created to raise awareness of summer blood shortages and this year is no different. With the increase in demand for blood products, we hope people continue to step up and help by donating blood.”

The Lifesaver Blood Drive Dates, Locations and Times are listed below:

Friday, Aug. 13

  • Bunker Hill Municipal Building, 801 S. Franklin St., Bunker Hill, Ill. 62014 - 2-7 p.m.
  • Florissant JFK Center, 315 Howdershell Rd., Florissant, Mo. 63031 – 2-7 p.m.
  • Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 1151 Tom Ginnever Ave, O Fallon, Mo. 63366 – 2-7 p.m.
  • Farmington VFW Hall, 814 Karsch Blvd., Farmington, Mo. 63640 – 2-7 p.m.
  • Knights of Columbus, 700 Clearview Drive, Union, Mo. 63084 – 2-7 p.m.
  • Kirkwood Community Center, 111 Geyer Road, Kirkwood, Mo. 63122 – 2-7 p.m.
  • St. Louis Police Officers Association, 3710 Hampton, St. Louis, Mo. 63109 – 2-7 p.m.
  • Meramec Arnold Elks, 1515 Miller Rd., Imperial, Mo. 63052 – 2-7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 14

  • Dawson’s Fitness Center Gym, 1815 Delmar Ave., Granite City, Ill. 62040 - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 16

  • Riverchase of Fenton, 990 Horan, Fenton, Mo. 63026 – 2-7 p.m.

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Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise – and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment at this drive to prevent further impact to patients.

There is no substitute for donated blood. Donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and enter/mention sponsor code LIFESAVER, or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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. 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 have to 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
As of Monday, July 26, In alignment with local guidance provided by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, all staff, volunteers and donors, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are?required to wear a?face mask while inside a Red Cross facility, donor center or blood drive in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. This is in alignment with local guidance.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, including social distancing. These protocols have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are?asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports 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 perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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