NBC 5 is calling all Texans to give blood. The American Red Cross and Carter BloodCare need your help! Due to huge numbers of patients in North Texas hospitals, fellow Texans need blood and platelets now more than ever.
WHY IS THERE A SHORTAGE?
Blood banks are experiencing the shortest blood supply in 30 years! This past year was especially hard because common places where drives are traditionally held like houses of worship and other community centers were shut down. In addition, less blood was collected due to social distancing procedures limiting the number of donors in a drive location.
New effects of the pandemic are putting stress on our area’s blood supply. People who couldn’t have surgeries or other hospital treatment during the start of the COVID-19 outbreak are now also in the hospital. Trauma cases, elective surgeries, and organ transplants are on the rise and are depleting the blood supply. All donations, but especially type O blood and platelet donations, are needed.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Carter BloodCare - Find a location to donate here.
American Red Cross - Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Walk-ins are welcome, but to secure a specific time, it is preferred you make an appointment.
WHAT DOES THE DONATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
- Preparation: Eat a hearty meal the night before and get a good night’s sleep. You’ll want to drink plenty of water. One to two hours before your donation, eat a well-balanced meal and limit caffeine.
- Registration: Bring a photo ID.
- Eligibility: Donors must be 110 pounds or heavier, and all other donors may check the other requirements here. A healthcare professional will go over your health history to make sure you are eligible to donate.
- Donation: A phlebotomist will clean your arm with antiseptic and start your donation with a new, sterile needle. It should take around 10 minutes to collect about a pint of blood. After your donation, your phlebotomist will remove the needle and help you slowly sit up and stand up.
- After your blood donation: After 15 minutes, it’s important to rehydrate and eat. You will need to refrain from strenuous activity and alcohol for the next 24 hours. It is normal for the donation site to be sore and tender for the next few days, and some bruising may occur. After three days, you can log in and see your test results.
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Platelet donations are desperately needed! Platelets are one of the three components of blood, the other two being red and white blood cells. Platelet donation is similar to donating blood with a few differences. First, to prepare, you will need to abstain from aspirin and aspirin products like Ibuprofen for 24 hours prior to your donation. Secondly, you will donate with a different piece of equipment, and finally, your donation may take a few minutes longer.
If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, knowing the manufacturer (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen/J&J) is important when giving blood to determine your eligibility. In most cases, receiving a vaccine will not prevent you from donating. If your blood contains COVID-19 antibodies, your blood could help those suffering with the COVID-19 infection.
Vaccinated donors do not need to wear a mask, but if you are not, you must wear one.
Want to give more than just blood? Give a monetary donation here: American Red Cross
This Disaster Relief gift will aid storm, flood, and wildfire relief efforts as well as other crises. Your donation will not only help with immediate needs like food and shelter, but also help those on the road to recovery and help communities better prepare for future disasters.
NEED A BONUS TO DONATE?
Those who donate between July 1-6 will receive an exclusive American Red Cross embroidered hat, while supplies last. Donors who donate between July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email plus, a chance to win gas for a year from the American Red Cross!
Carter BloodCare is partnering with Chick-fil-A for a free chicken sandwich while supplies last.
Please give the gift of life this summer and give blood to one of our NBC 5 partners, American Red Cross or Carter BloodCare at a location near you. For more information, visit www.carterbloodcare.org or www.redcross.org.