January is National Blood Donor Month
The American Red Cross and the National Football League are teaming up this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals – especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 – to give blood and to help tackle the national convalescent plasma shortage. Right now, more donors are needed to help hospital patients.
During this critical time, the Red Cross and NFL are thrilled to offer all those who come to donate an opportunity to receive a special thank you this month. Those who come to donate blood or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.* In addition, those who come to give Jan. 1-20, will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for an awesome viewing experience safely at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun.
The Red Cross will be in Ghent from noon to 6 p.m. at KB's Bar & Grill on Thursday, Jan. 14 at KB's Bar & Grill, and in Minneota from 1-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the American Legion.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood today with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.
"Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus," said Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services. "With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generous donations are vital in helping to save lives throughout the winter – a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need."
As COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma – leading to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product. Like “special teams” units on the field, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to make a game-changing difference in the lives of COVID-19 patients. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.
How those recovered from COVID-19 can help
There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help – through a convalescent plasma donation or by simply giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. Health emergencies don’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic – blood is needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness.
Blood donation safety precautions
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Upcoming area blood donation opportunities:
Jan. 21: Noon - 6 p.m., Bethany Elim Lutheran, 102 S. Highway 5
Jan. 19: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Community and Event Center, 114 S. Center St.
Jan. 14: Noon - 6 p.m., KB's Bar and Grill, 100 Burlingame St.
Jan. 22: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Lyon County Library, 201 C St.
Jan. 29: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Marshall Fire Department, 201 Saratoga St.
Jan. 20: 1-7 p.m., American Legion Minneota, 208 N. Jefferson