Editor's Note: Carter BloodCare initially said donors would receive a season pass for making a blood donation on Sept. 16. They later clarified their statement to say that donors would be given a one-day pass, not a season pass.
Six Flags is the latest attraction offering up freebies for North Texans who give a little blood to help curb the national shortage.
Blood banks are urging eligible donors to give as much as they can amid a national shortage of blood attributed by the American Red Cross to an atypically high number of traumas and ER visits.
The theme park will give a single one-day pass per donation from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16. The blood drive will be held in a Six Flags parking lot at 2201 E. Road to Six Flags inside a Carter BloodCare donation bus.
The free passes are effective from Sept. 17 through Jan. 2, 2022 -- which could get you into either Fright Fest or Holiday in the Park.
Donors can complete the medical history questionnaire online on the day of donation, before arriving to give blood. For more information contact Becky Swindell at 817-343-1186 or schedule an appointment here.
Incentives to donate blood during the shortage are not uncommon. Earlier this month, Carter BloodCare held a blood drive with the Texas Rangers where blood donations were traded for some snazzy socks.
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Being that the month of September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, Carter BloodCare is urging all potential donors to help local people in need, including those living with SCD.
"Healthy red blood cells have a round shape that helps them carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone with SCD, however, these cells have a curved shape, much like a farmer's sickle or crescent moon, which can clog flow through small blood vessels, causing severe pain, infection, strokes, and other health issues," Carter BloodCare said in a statement. "This requires regular replacement of SCD patients' blood with that of healthy donors' red blood cells."
Carter BloodCare noted that more than 95% of SCD patients are Black but that only about 5% of blood donors are Black and that more Black donors are needed to help SCD patients.
"It's crucial that the community blood supply mirrors the local population to best help all patients," Carter BloodCare said. "New and returning blood donors are urgently needed to add greater diversity to the existing community supply and to replenish this lifesaving resource for all local patients, such as people receiving cancer treatments, mothers experiencing difficult childbirths, trauma, and surgical patients, and more."
Last month Carter BloodCare reported the blood supply was at a 30-year low and that only four out of every 100 available Texas donors were donating blood.
Potential blood donors may volunteer at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds can give independently and there is no upper age limit.
Carter BloodCare says all blood types are urgently needed.
Do not attempt to donate if you have been diagnosed with or suspected to have COVID-19 until you have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. Individuals who receive the COVID-19 vaccine are invited to donate blood; however, there will be additional FDA requirements to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Appointments for donating convalescent plasma can only be made by calling 817-412-5830. All donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies. The testing will also help identify individuals with the greatest opportunity to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma to help currently ill COVID-19 patients heal.
Carter BloodCare staff and unvaccinated donors are required to wear facial coverings at blood drives or donation centers, except when the temperature is taken during screening, or when eating and drinking after the donation. Vaccinated donors are also strongly encouraged to wear masks.
If you are unable to donate at the Six Flags event in Arlington, find a blood donation center here.
Carter BloodCare believes personal stories are powerful ways to encourage someone to give blood. Share your story at CarterBloodCare.org/tellusyourstory/ and inspire others to donate blood this fall.