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Red Cross urgently in need of blood after holiday break

The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types – especially type O – to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood.

To help tackle the critical need, the Red Cross and NFL are working together to offer one lucky winner a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays, when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give.

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now, and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood and platelets through Jan. 19, will automatically be entered for a chance to experience the Super Bowl live. One winner will receive two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander®-All Suite Oceanfront Resort and a $500 gift card for expenses.

“The Red Cross appreciates the NFL’s support during this crucial time of year when every donation – and every donor – matters,” said Sullivan. “We hope this may inspire some to make regular blood and platelet donation one of their New Year’s resolutions.”

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood. org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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.