Red Cross urges blood and platelet donations during National Preparedness Month

ANZA – The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood and platelets this fall to help restock the shelves following a significant summer shortage to ensure an adequate blood supply for patients in need.

“Whether blood is needed for a chronic condition like sickle cell disease, a routine surgery, a traumatic accident or a large-scale disaster, it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives,” said Gehrig. “Red Cross blood and platelet donors play an important role in helping communities be prepared for all kinds of emergencies.”

Through the first two weeks of September, the Red Cross is down more than 10,000 donations from what is needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for emergencies large and small. Declines in donations can lead to blood shortages and make it difficult to meet patient needs should a disaster or emergency occur.

“September is National Preparedness Month and we urge eligible donors to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services.

Blood products continue to be distributed to hospitals almost as quickly as donations come in, accordingly donors of all blood types are needed. Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities with the Red Cross in Riverside County include Hamilton High School in Anza Oct. 10, Rancho Springs Medical Center Oct. 5, and Los Alamos Hills Sports Park Oct. 9, in Murrieta, Mount San Jacinto College Oct. 3, in San Jacinto, and Evertek Computers Oct. 13, in Temecula.

Also, the San Diego Blood Bank will host the blood mobile drive at Claim Jumper on Monday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Temecula.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. It is recommended that donors consume an adequate meal and plenty of fluids before giving. Donors must present photo identification upon signing in. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment for their convenience but walk-ins are also welcome. To schedule an appointment, please call (619) 469-7322 or visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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 call (800) 733-2767.

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