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Red Cross urges winter blood and platelet donations

11/27/2015, 2 p.m.
This holiday season, the American Red Cross urges individuals to give something that means something— a blood or platelet donation. ...

This holiday season, the American Red Cross urges individuals to give something that means something— a blood or platelet donation. This simple, potentially lifesaving act can give patients in need another holiday season with loved ones.

“During the winter months and especially around the holidays, blood donations tend to decline,” said Steve Mavica, Communications Manager for the Red Cross Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region. “Long holiday weekends, like Thanksgiving, pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. The Red Cross encourages people to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets and give a meaningful gift to a patient this holiday season— the gift of life.”

Blood donors with all types, especially O negative, B negative and A negative, are urged to give. Platelet donors and those with type AB blood are also continually needed.

To make an appointment, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can use RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or laptop. Visit: redcrossblood.org/RapidPass to get started.

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 in some states), 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

This time of year, there are also fewer blood drives on the calendar. With fewer opportunities for donors to give, the Red Cross typically experiences a seasonal decline in blood donations.

For more information about hosting a blood drive or donating blood is available at www.redcrossblood.org.