Emergencies don’t take a holiday. The American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help ensure patients can get the treatment they need at a moment’s notice.
In November 2016, a 100-foot maple tree fell on Mike McMahon, causing life-threatening injuries. He needed 11 units of blood during emergency surgery and another seven units to treat complications after. Six weeks following the accident, McMahon was released from the hospital – just in time to spend the holidays with his family.
“I’m grateful for the donors who gave me such an amazing gift – the gift of life,” said McMahon. “I was an occasional blood donor before the accident. Today, I donate as often as I can to help ensure others receive blood when they need it most.”
Now is an important time to give blood and platelets. A seasonal decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply. Patients like McMahon can’t afford for there to be a shortage of blood.
Give the gift of life – make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a special thank you for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
In this area, a blood drive is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ball Metalpack, 300 W. Greger St., Oakdale.
Donors can also make appointments or walk in to the Modesto Blood Donation Center, 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave., Modesto or the North Stockton Blood Donation Center, 2888 W. March Lane, Stockton.
To donate blood, 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.
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products. For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit rdcrss.org/driver.
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, visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.