Red Cross encourages blood donations

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

The American Red Cross has seen an outpouring of support from blood donors in response to the coronavirus outbreak. During this uncertain time, the Red Cross continues to encourage healthy individuals to schedule and keep donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions have been implemented to ensure the health of Red Cross donors, employees and volunteers.
Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of our communities. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. With no known end date in this fight against the Coronavirus, the Red Cross needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come.
This is the time to take care of one another. Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate later this month and after by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Donors are also asked to make an appointment to donate in order to help manage the flow of donors appropriately in support of social distancing practices.
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 emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid and supports 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 perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org or follow them on Twitter at @RedCross.

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