With no substitute for blood and no way to manufacture it, volunteer donors are essential for hospital patients in need of transfusions.
During National Volunteer Month this April, the American Red Cross is celebrating the blood, platelet and plasma donors who help fulfill its lifesaving mission and urging healthy individuals to join them in giving.
The Red Cross will host a blood donation event from 12 to 5 p.m., Friday, April 23, at St. Edmond Catholic Church, 409 King Charles Ave., Rehoboth Beach.
Nearly 2.6 million Red Cross volunteer donors step up every year to ensure blood is on the shelves when patients need it. The generosity of these heroes has been especially impactful over the past year as they helped the Red Cross continue to meet patient needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Red Cross continues to urge healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give blood to ensure hospitals can meet patient needs. To schedule a donation appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, go to RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a special thank you, those who come to give by Friday, April 30 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of choice. Additional details are available at rcblood.org/Gift.
Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
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.