Dec. 5, 2016) – It can’t be wrapped or placed under a tree, but the perfect gift can help save patient lives this holiday season. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the lifesaving gift of a blood donation in December, a time when donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady.


Barbara Coger will never forget the donors that gave the blood that her husband received during the holidays. “I have been donating blood for some time, but really started encouraging others to do so after my husband received a donation on Christmas Eve,” she said. “He had not been doing well and would not survive much longer, but with that extra boost, he was able to share a big smile with me on Christmas morning, something I will always cherish.”


Donors of all blood types are needed this holiday season to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. To encourage donations, all those who come to donate Dec. 22, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.


To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.


Power Red maximizes donations


Blood donors with type O, B negative and A negative blood can help more patients with one appointment by making a Power Red donation at select Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells – the most commonly transfused blood component. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and are frequently give to trauma and surgery patients. During a Power Red donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and plasma and platelets are then safely and comfortably returned to the donor.


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:


Benton


Rogers


12/27/2016: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., John Q. Hammons Center, 3201 Pinnacle Hills Parkway


Siloam Springs


12/23/2016: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Walmart, 2901 Highway 412 E


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.


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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.


About the American Red Cross


The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.