Holidays see decline in blood donations, blood drive incentives

SALT LAKE CITY – The Red Cross typically experiences a drop in blood donations during the winter holiday season. People become busy with Christmas shopping, planning for and going to holiday events and spending time with friends and family. However, the need of hospital patients doesn’t decline just because donations do. Christmas may have come and gone, but opportunity to donate blood and give a patient a potentially life-saving gift remains ever constant.

Each donation made can help save up to three lives.

“Hospital patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood and platelets …. We need donors to come in and give before they get too busy with other things,” said John Petersen, communications program manager for the Red Cross Blood Service Region.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases each and every day.

As a special “thank you,” all those presenting to donate blood from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3 will receive a commemorative long-sleeved American Red Cross T-shirt (while supplies last; quantities and sizes may be limited).

Blood donors are encouraged to invite a loved one to follow in their footsteps and donate blood this holiday season.

Visit the Red Cross Holiday Postagram Postcard Facebook page to upload a picture of your Red Cross blood donation and send a postcard to a loved one.

For more information or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets, please visit the Red Cross’s blood donation website,or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org 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 (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 who are 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Submitted by: The Red Cross

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