Thinking of Giving Blood? Find the Way That’s Right for You

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: August 2, 2011

RedCrossLogo“Maximize me” could be a new mantra for people giving the gift of life through the American Red Cross.

It’s human nature to want to make the most of things,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “At the American Red Cross, we want to help our blood donors maximize their donation by recommending donation options that best meet hospital and patient needs.

Whole blood donations typically yield three main components: red cells, platelets and plasma. Medical professionals may prescribe transfusions of particular blood components to treat specific patient needs. Patients experiencing chronic blood loss, surgeries, anemia or trauma may need red cells. Cancer patients frequently need platelets. Patients in shock, with serious burns, or with some blood or immune disorders may need plasma.

Blood type can play an important role in meeting patient demand for certain blood products. For instance, most patients can receive red cells from type O donors, while most patients can receive plasma from type AB donors.

Whole blood is rarely transfused as an individual unit,” said Whitman. “Collecting blood components based on blood type can be extremely helpful in meeting hospital demand.”

Donors can give whole blood, double red cells, and platelets and plasma through particular donation procedures. Since type O and B red cells are in high demand, donors with those blood types may be asked to give double red cells. And since demand is high for type A and AB platelets and plasma, type A and AB donors may be asked to give these components.

Our goal is to find the donation procedure that’s the best fit for you and for hospital patients,” said Whitman. “The main point to remember is this: whatever your blood type and whatever way you chose to give, someone needs you.

Come to donate at these blood drives and be entered into a region-wide drawing to win free gas for a year ($3000 gift card).

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the American Legion in the Hall, located at 5675 Mulberry Ave. in Portage. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Thursday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 6139 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage.  Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard; also be entered into a region-wide drawing to win free gas for a year ($3000 gift card).
  • Thursday, Aug. 18, from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church, located at 1808 Campbell St. in Valparaiso. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Friday, Aug. 19, from 2 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.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at Rittenhouse Senior Living, located at 1300 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso. Please email bcuellar@rittenhousesl.com to schedule your blood donation appointment. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 1:30 until 4 p.m. at Rittenhouse Senior Living, located at 6235 Sterling Creek Road in Portage. Please email Jcramer@rittenhousesl.com to schedule your blood donation appointment. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive in Valparaiso. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Thursday, Aug. 25, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hopewell Mennonite Church in the Meeting Hall, located on SR 49 in Kouts. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Thursday, Aug. 25, from noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Meeting Hall, located at 106 East 1100 North in Chesterton. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Friday, Aug. 26, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 3100 Willowcreek Road in Portage. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements. Please email ryan@ymcaofportage.org to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Range Line Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship/Sanctuary, located at 18095 Clay St. in Hebron. This is a Power in the Blood interfaith initiative which aims to bring together groups of all beliefs to help the community maintain the supply of donated blood. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements. Please call (219) 746-5719 or go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “rlpresch” to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Monday, Aug. 29, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Valparaiso University in the Athletics Recreation Center, located at 1509 Chapel Drive in Valparaiso. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements and will be entered into a region-wide drawing to win free gas for a year ($3000 gift card)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Porter Starke Services, located at 701 Wall St. in Valparaiso. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements. Please email hrsb@porterstarke.org to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 30, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Purdue North Central, located at 600 Vale Park Road in Valparaiso. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Arnell Motors, located at 241 Melton Road in Burns Harbor. Please email jricha@arnellmotors.com to schedule your blood donation appointment. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 7:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Chesterton High School in the gymnasium, located at 2125 S. 11th St. in Chesterton. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a coupon for a 6-piece box of chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements.

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