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Flu season may impact Red Cross blood supply



BIRMINGHAM, Nov. 7, 2022— The American Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to give now and help fight the potential impact of seasonal illnesses and a potentially severe flu season on the blood supply.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts a serious spread of flu this year and is already reporting an early spike in cases in several states. When seasonal illnesses increase, the number of healthy donors tends to decrease, leaving the Red Cross blood supply vulnerable to a potential shortage over the holidays.

Paired with busy holiday schedules, seasonal illnesses may make it harder to collect the blood hospital patients require this winter. Donors − especially those with type O blood and those giving platelets − can help bolster the blood supply now by making an appointment to give in the coming weeks.

There is no waiting period to donate blood or platelets after receiving a flu shot. Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Learn more about flu safety and prevention at redcross.org/flusafety.

As a thank-you, the Red Cross is offering several opportunities to donors this month:

  • All who come to give Nov. 1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice. Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.

  • Those who come to give over the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 23-27, will get a Red Cross knit beanie, while supplies last.

  • All who come out to help Nov. 28-Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. Details are available at rcblood.org/together.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 16-30:

ALABAMA

Baldwin

Daphne

11/18/2022: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Walmart Supercenter, 27520 Highway 98

Fairhope

11/21/2022: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Walmart Supercenter, 10040 County Rd 48

Foley

11/29/2022: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, 1613 North McKenzie St

Gulf Shores

11/29/2022: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Gulf Shores First Prebyterian Fellowship Hall, 309 East 21St Avenue

11/30/2022: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Peace Lutheran Church, 8250 Roscoe Rd

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Clarke

Thomasville

11/28/2022: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., First US Bank, 131 West Front St

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Mobile

Mobile

11/18/2022: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., American Red Cross--Mobile Chapter, 35 North Sage Avenue

11/19/2022: noon - 5 p.m., U.J. Robinson Memorial Center, 266 Mobile St

11/22/2022: noon - 6 p.m., American Red Cross--Mobile Chapter, 35 North Sage Avenue

11/23/2022: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., American Red Cross--Mobile Chapter, 35 North Sage Avenue

11/25/2022: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., American Red Cross--Mobile Chapter, 35 North Sage Avenue

11/29/2022: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Ascension Providence Hospital, 6801 Airport Blvd.

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MISSISSIPPI

Hancock

Waveland

11/16/2022: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Lowes Waveland, 9020 Highway 603

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Harrison

Biloxi

11/28/2022: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach Blvd

11/29/2022: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Woolmarket Elementary School, 12513 John Lee Rd.

11/30/2022: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Harley Davidson, 941 Cedar Lake

Diberville

11/21/2022: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Oswald L.Fayard VFW Post 6731, 4321 W. Gay Rd

11/23/2022: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Marble Slab Creamery D'Iberville, 3516 Sangani Blvd, Suite H

Gulfport

11/17/2022: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., American Medical Response, 12020 Intraplex Parkway

11/17/2022: noon - 4 p.m., Health Fit M. D. Gulfport, 12262 Hwy 49 Suite 6

11/17/2022: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Baptist Lyman, 14321 Old Hwy 49

11/18/2022: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., ARC - South Mississippi Chapter- Gulfport Office, 612 E. Pass Rd

11/25/2022: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Marble Slab Creamery Gulfport, 15236 CrossRds Parkway

11/25/2022: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., ARC - South Mississippi Chapter- Gulfport Office, 612 E. Pass Rd

11/28/2022: 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Gulf Coast Event Center, 9475 US 49

11/30/2022: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Memorial Hospital Gulfport, 4500 13th St

Long Beach

11/22/2022: noon - 6 p.m., St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 720 East Beach Blvd.

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Jackson

Ocean Springs

11/27/2022: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 502 Jackson Ave

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Stone

Wiggins

11/22/2022: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kare-In-Home, 930 Hall St Suite F & G

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 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. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Amplify Your Impact − Volunteer!

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.

Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, visit https://www.redcross.org/volunteertoday.


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