Red Cross in need of type O blood donations, is offering $5 Amazon.com gift cards to those who give

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Red Cross is in critical need for type O blood donations and is offering $5.00 Amazon.com gift cards to those who give blood or platelets now until June 10th, the organization said Tuesday.

According to the American Red Cross, there are just six units of type O blood available for every 100,000 people, which is two times less than the amount needed every day.

"Type O blood is the most needed blood type in the hospital, but the Red Cross is currently facing a shortage of this important blood type across the country," said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer, Red Cross Biomedical Services. "Type O negative is the universal blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for in the most serious situations when there is not time to determine a patient’s blood type; and type O positive blood can be transfused to any positive blood type patient and is also critical in trauma situations. We are asking donors to give blood as soon as possible to ensure patient needs can be met in the days and weeks ahead."

The American Red Cross encourages donors to schedule a blood donation appointment by using the Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

The American Red Cross notes that a blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Donation appointments are encouraged to reduce possible wait times. Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer.

More information and details in regards to the Amazon.com gift card can be found here. The American Red Cross adds that those who donate between May 24 and May 28 will receive a Red Cross-branded T-shirt, while supplies last.

Our next FOX43 blood drive will be held on August 22nd at Penn State York.

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