As influenza activity picks up, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets to ensure a strong blood supply for patients in need.
Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well. One way to maintain health is to get a flu vaccine each fall. There is no waiting period to give blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.
Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed this fall after hurricanes Michael and Florence forced the cancellation of about 200 blood drives, causing approximately 7,000 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
From noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 Trinity Lutheran Church, 800 N. Sumner Ave., in Creston
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13 Creston High School, 601 W. Townline St., in Creston
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 13 First Christian Church, 201 W. Monroe St., in Mount Ayr
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 13 Orient-Macksburg High School, 201 School St., in Orient
From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14 Bedford High School, 1006 Illinois St., in Bedford
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.