INDIANA — The American Red Cross, Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Suburban Propane have joined together to encourage communities to commit to a simple act with a powerful impact – giving blood or platelets for patients in need.
This spring, it’s critically important the Red Cross maintains a readily available blood supply for those who rely on transfusions for treatment. Since donated blood has a limited shelf life, supplies must be constantly replenished to ensure a sufficient inventory of blood products. With no substitution for blood and no way to manufacture it, volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for patients with sickle cell disease, car accident victims and parents experiencing difficult childbirths.
As a blood donor himself, Jerry Rice urges individuals to roll up a sleeve and take pride in the lifesaving impact they’re making. “Here’s your chance to make a difference,” said Rice. “You never know who you might be helping. It could be a friend or family member who needs blood – and that’s why it’s so important.”
As a thank-you, Suburban Propane is fueling a lifetime of road-tripping memories with a special opportunity for donors who answer the call to give power to patients. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma April 19-May 19, 2022, will be automatically entered to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps eight. Plus, those who come to give will also receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice, all courtesy of Suburban Propane.*
“We are honored to join our longtime partners at the American Red Cross and football legend Jerry Rice to raise awareness about the need for blood this spring,” said Nandini Sankara, spokesperson, Suburban Propane. “This effort is a wonderful addition to our SuburbanCares initiative, aimed at giving back to our local communities throughout the nation, and we are delighted to sponsor the camper giveaway in hopes of motivating even more people to donate blood and give the gift of life.”
A simple act can lead to lifesaving care. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets or plasma, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.orgor call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time. Results may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus after vaccination or past exposure, regardless of whether they developed symptoms.
Plasma from routine blood, platelet and plasma donations that have high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients with a weakened immune system.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose infection, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who have been asked to quarantine or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation until they are symptom-free for 10 days and feeling well and healthy.
At a time when health information has never been more important, 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 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 antibody testing results and 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
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. The Red cross will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.
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) 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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 nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.