Red Cross: Add ‘give blood’ to holiday checklist
As freezing temperatures and harsh weather grip much of the nation, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.
Sites in Ellijay and Jasper have been set up in early January to help.
Millions of people are expected to take to the roads, rail and air to celebrate the season, which can cause fewer donors to be available and lead to a decline in blood and platelet donations. In addition, severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can temporarily prevent some from giving. Donors with all blood types are needed now to help patients. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give Dec. 22 through Jan. 8 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
“Many of us celebrate this time of year with loved ones, but patients may spend the holidays and ring in the new year from a hospital room,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services.
“Blood and platelet donors can bring joy to patients and their families by giving blood or platelets to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”
The closest sites to give blood are:
Jan. 5 – Piedmont Moutainside Hospital, 1266 Highway 515 South in Jasper, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Jan. 12 – Piedmont Hospital & Community Building, 824 Industrial Blvd. in Ellijay, noon - 6 p.m.
How to donate blood – Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.