American Red Cross: Healthy donors sought to maintain blood supply

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As influenza activity picks up, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood 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 after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.

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 include: Nov. 1-15

Marysville: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7, Marysville Junior High, 1011 Walnut Street;

Wetmore: 1:30 to 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9, Wetmore High School, 321 Sixth Street.

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. 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.

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