Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dive into Shark Week and help prevent a blood shortage

| July 14, 2022 1:00 AM

After a recent steep drop in blood donations, the American Red Cross and Discovery are teaming up for Shark Week to encourage donors to give blood and help prevent a summer blood shortage.

The Red Cross saw a steep drop in blood and platelet donations in June and officials are asking donors to make appointments now to prevent a blood shortage this summer.

In June, the Red Cross collected approximately 12 percent fewer blood donations than needed — one of the largest monthly blood donation shortfalls in recent years. When less people answer the call to donate, the blood supply shrinks — and that could mean blood products aren’t ready for hospital staff to reach for in emergencies

To encourage donations throughout the month, all those who come to give July 1-31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a Shark Week merchandise package, including, beach bike, smokeless portable fire pit, paddle board, kayak and $500 gift card to put toward accessories.

Those who come to give July 21-24 will also receive an exclusive Shark Week T-shirt, while supplies last.

By making and keeping blood donation appointments in July, donors can connect with patients through a lifesaving gift. To book a time to give, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control and will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive. 

To donate blood, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the blood donor skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor app.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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