The American Red Cross is calling for donors of all blood types, especially those with type O blood, to race to give blood and help refuel the blood supply.

This spring, the Red Cross is teaming up with INDYCAR® to urge people to help keep the blood supply on track by donating blood or platelets. Schedule a donation appointment by downloading 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.

As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets April 1-15 will automatically be entered to win a VIP trip for four to the 2022 Indianapolis 500®. The Red Cross will also automatically enter all who come to give in April for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of choice. Additional details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Indy500.

The need for blood doesn’t take a pit stop

When seconds count in the race to save lives, it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps most. More donors are needed now to help ensure hospitals are ready to respond to the needs of patients this month.

Every day patients like Sarah Spinner rely on lifesaving blood products. In December 2012, Spinner experienced a life-threatening pregnancy complication and required 16 units of red blood cells in addition to multiple units of platelets and plasma as doctors fought to save her life.

Sarah spent two nights in the intensive care unit and held her son for the first time while someone held her arms up because she was so weak. “He was the most amazing thing I had ever seen – aside from the face of my husband. I was so thankful to be alive!”

Although this wasn’t the ending that they expected, Sarah said she is grateful that “my body held on when it’s life was pouring out of it. I get goosebumps thinking about the fact that I’m still alive because so many people donated the blood I needed to survive.”

Important COVID-19 information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.

Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers

Please check redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS for current blood donation centers days and hours.

Bloomington Area Blood Donation Center

505 W. 98th St.

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Minneapolis Area Blood Donation Center

1201 W. River Parkway, Third Floor

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North Suburban Blood Donation Center

1160 W. County Road E, Arden Hills

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St. Paul Area Blood Donation Center

176 S. Robert St.

Additional Upcoming blood donation opportunities April 1-15

Washington County

Afton

4/15/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 14107 S. Hudson Road

Cottage Grove

4/8/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Walgreens, 7135 E. Point Douglas Road S

4/9/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, 9998 S. 90th St.

4/13/2021: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Crossroads Church, 7955 Ivystone Ave.

Woodbury

4/9/2021: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Restore Hyper Wellness, Woodbury Commons Plaza, 720 Commons Drive

About blood donation

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.

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