American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to give blood and help save lives this spring

Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient need. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.

Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a Power Red donation, where available. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.

While donors of all blood types are encouraged to give blood, type O, A negative and B negative donors are urged to give Power Reds if they meet the additional eligibility criteria. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type in an emergency. Similarly, type O positive can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. Power Red donations help ensure a stable supply of these critical blood types.

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and Power Red donations may be made every 112 days, up to three times per year.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

4/24/2017: 12 – 5 p.m., Quintard Mall, 700 Quintard Ave. Oxford
4/24/2017: 2 – 7 p.m., Gadsden Mall Premiere Cinemas, 1001 Rainbow Drive Gadsden
4/24/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
4/24/2017: 12 – 6 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
4/25/2017: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., White Plains High School, 250  White Plains Road Anniston
4/25/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
4/25/2017: 12 – 4 p.m., Evangel Christian School, 423 Thompson Road Alabaster
4/25/2017: 12 – 6 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
4/26/2017: 1 –  6:30 p.m., Hokes Bluff Elementary School, 5375 Main St. Hokes Bluff
4/26/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
4/26/2017: 1 – 6 p.m., The Country Club of Birmingham, 3325 Country Club Road Birmingham
4/26/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
4/27/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
4/27/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
4/27/2017: 1 – 5 p.m., St Francis of Assisi University Parish, 811 5th Ave. Tuscaloosa
4/28/2017: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion, 1802 6th Ave. S Birmingham
4/28/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham
4/28/2017: 2 – 7 p.m., Carbon Hill Masonic Lodge, 246 NW 2nd Ave. Carbon Hill
4/29/2017: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., First Baptist Church of Saks, 4723 Saks Road Anniston
4/29/2017: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Caldwell Trace Donor Center, 700 Caldwell Trace Birmingham

How to help

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.