American Red Cross seeks donations
The American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to give blood in September to support children, teens and young adults battling cancer as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications, according to a news release.
Cancer and cancer treatments can affect red blood cell and platelet counts and some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, reducing red blood cell and platelet production, the release stated.
Area residents can schedule an appointment to donate or find a local drive by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor skill on any Alexa Echo device.
To learn more or sign up to host a blood drive this fall or winter, visit redcrossblood.org/hostadrive.
The Red Cross will test blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicated if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of developing symptoms. Tests are not to diagnose illness. The antibody test will be helpful to identify individuals who may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors for those actively fighting the virus, the release stated. Antibody test results are available within seven to 10 days.
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or believe they may have COVID-19 should postpone donation. Blood drives and donation centers may have additional precautions, including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff. Donors should schedule an appointment prior to a blood drive or for giving at a donation center. Donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at a blood drive.