SYRACUSE — The American Red Cross needs people of all races and ethnicities to give blood to help ensure a blood supply as diverse as the patients who depend on it.
For a small percentage of the population, finding someone else with the same blood type can be difficult. While the vast majority of people have types A, B, O or AB blood, some blood types are unique to certain racial and ethnic groups, so a diverse blood supply is important to meeting the medical needs of a diverse patient population. Patients who require frequent blood transfusions as part of their treatment, like those with sickle cell disease or other lifelong blood disorders, often need close blood type matches to prevent complications from their transfusion therapy.
All blood types are needed to ensure that the right blood product is available at the right time for all patients.
Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood drives are also essential in helping ensure blood is available for patients this winter. To learn more and sign up to host a blood drive this fall or winter, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. 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.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Sept. 16-30
Sept. 18, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Central Square Baptist Church, 701 N. Main St., Central Square.
Sept. 29, 1-6 p.m., Bethel Community Fellowship, 240 NY Route 49, Cleveland.
Sept. 18, 1:30-6 p.m., Elim Grace Church, 340 W. First St., Oswego.
Sept. 29, 1-6 p.m., Faith Church of the Nazarene, 2813 NY Route 69.
Sept. 22, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Pulaski Wesleyan Church, 4591 US Route 11, Pulaski.
Sept. 26, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church, 5353 US Route 11, Pulaski.
Sept. 30, 1:30-6 p.m., Life Church, 2363 NY Route 49, West Monroe.
How to donate blood
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 (16 with parental consent where allowed), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet 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. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.