American Red Cross Encourages Donors to be Twice the Hero

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: July 15, 2010

You can be twice the hero to people in need this summer by giving the double red cell way through the American Red Cross. RedCrossLogo

A double red cell donation involves giving two pints of red cells through an automated donation process. And time-strapped donors, Red Cross officials say, will find the collection technology ideal since it allows you to give more of what some patients need.

Red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component, and are needed by almost every patient who needs a blood transfusion,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Not a day goes by that someone, somewhere doesn’t need red blood cells for emergency or ongoing medical care.”

While a donation of double red cells takes about 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation, the waiting period between donations is 112 days versus 56 days for whole blood. When taken together, the overall time commitment for one double red cell donation is less than giving two pints of whole blood.

Donors who meet certain criteria may be eligible to safely donate double red cells. And blood donors with types O and B blood are frequently recruited for the automated donation process. Both blood types are in high demand, with type O being the most requested by hospitals since it can be transfused to patients in other blood groups such as A, B and AB. Hospitals, too, use type O-negative blood in most emergency trauma cases when a patient’s blood type isn’t known.

Double red cell donations can help streamline blood collections, and bolster the supply available to hospital patients,” said Whitman. “That’s incredibly important during the summer when supplies are in delicate balance.”

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Sunday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the gymnasium, located at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
  • Monday, Aug. 2, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 103 N. Franklin in Valparaiso.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive in Valparaiso.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in The Foyer, located at 1515 Indiana 10 in Knox.
  • Friday, Aug. 6, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Porter Hospital Valparaiso Campus in the Patio Room, located at 814 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
  • Saturday, Aug. 7, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Washington Evangelical Free Church in the gymnasium, located at 3805 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
  • Monday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in the Social Hall, located at 6540 Central Ave. in Portage.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Duneland Health and Wellness in the Fitness Center, located at 810 Michael Drive in Chesterton.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the American Legion in the Hall, located at 5675 Mulberry Ave. in Portage.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Foyer, located at 505 Bullseye Lake Road in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Aug. 13, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 2101 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard. Please call 531-9600 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Saturday, Aug. 14, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Union Fire & Rescue, located at 267 North 600 West in Valparaiso.

How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.