The American Red Cross encourages everyone to donate blood

The American Red Cross is undergoing a blood shortage and is seeking donors.


Zulfiqar Ahmed

Northern Star Sports Editor, Skyler Kisellus, searches on the Red Cross website locations to donate blood. The American Red Cross partnered with the NFL to give away Super Bowl tickets.

DeKALB—The American Red Cross is facing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. Donors of all blood types, but especially type O, are urged to donate. 

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Dr. Bala Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care. 

COVID-19 has contributed to a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges, according to a Red Cross press release. 

In recent weeks, the Red Cross has had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types, limiting blood product distribution to hospitals and forcing doctors to decide who receives blood transfusions and who must wait until more blood is available.

To help combat the blood crisis, the NFL is partnering with the Red Cross this January, during National Blood Donor Month.

This month, those who donate blood, platelets or plasma will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California. Donors will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. 

Those interested in donating can attend a blood drive hosted by the Red Cross from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Campus Life Building, 545 Lucinda Ave. 

Before arriving at the drive, individuals must make an appointment

To save time, donors can also complete a RapidPass on the day of their appointment, which allows donors to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. 

Donors need to bring a blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification along with them to the drive. 

It is recommended that donors drink an extra 16 oz. of water and eat a healthy iron-rich meal before their appointment.