blood drive

Emergency blood and platelet shortage persists as patient needs continue over holiday season

As many prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood or platelets in the coming weeks.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Southern California Red Cross Region has experienced a 46% decrease in new blood donors this year.

Don’t wait. Humanity needs you to help patients enjoy all the holiday season has to offer. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*

Those who share the warmth and make a blood or platelet donation part of their Thanksgiving plans Nov. 24-28 will receive an exclusive pair of Red Cross holiday socks, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Buena Park

  • 11/22/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Buena Park Library, 7150 La Palma Ave.
  • 11/26/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Buena Park Downtown, 8308 On the Mall
  • 12/12/2021: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Jain Center of Southern California, 8072 Commonwealth Ave
  • 12/13/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Moose Lodge 1945, 8651 Knott Ave

Cypress

  • 12/16/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cypress Community Center, 5700 Orange Ave

Garden Grove

  • 11/23/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Elk’s Lodge #1952, 11551 Trask Ave
  • 12/14/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Building G, 6202 Cerulean Ave
  • 12/14/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Bolsa Grande High School, 9401 Westminster Ave

Huntington Beach

  • 11/24/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Huntington Beach Masonic Center, 601 Palm Avenue
  • 11/29/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Crunch Fitness, 5894 Edinger Ave
  • 12/3/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Huntington Beach Masonic Center, 601 Palm Avenue
  • 12/8/2021: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Huntington Beach Police Dept, 2000 Main St
  • 12/15/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Huntington Beach Hospital, 17772 Beach Blvd.

Los Alamitos

  • 11/28/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St Isidore Historical Plaza, 10961 Reagan Street
  • 11/30/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 11600 Los Alamitos Blvd

Rossmoor

  • 12/15/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rossmoor Home Owners Association, 3031 Blume Dr

Seal Beach

  • 11/24/2021: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mary Wilson Library, 707 Electric Ave
  • 12/3/2021: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Rossmoor, 12501 Seal Beach Blvd
  • 12/6/2021: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Orange County Fire Station 48, 3131 N Gate Rd
  • 12/6/2021: 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., The Ranch at Seal Beach, 3030 Old Ranch Parkway
  • 12/13/2021: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., DTS, 1720 Apollo Court

Westminster

  • 11/26/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Westminster Mall, 100 Westminster Mall

Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – 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.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 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.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, 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 deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

This article was released by the American Red Cross.