The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why the community is invited to team up with the Red Cross and Atlanta Hawks at their summer blood drive, in partnership with Budweiser and sponsored by 11 Alive, Friday, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at State Farm Arena, 1 State Farm Dr. in Atlanta. Presenting donors will receive a ticket voucher redeemable for two tickets to an Atlanta Hawks home game during the 2020-21 season. Ticket vouchers are first come, first serve, while supplies last.*
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with the Center for Disease Control’s prevention public guidance.
In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed. Donors are needed to make and keep scheduled appointments to help meet the current need.
“Blood donation shortages can impact many communities, including our own during this challenging time. So, it is extremely important for the Hawks, along with Budweiser, to host this blood drive, that will hopefully help to save many lives,” said Steve Koonin, CEO, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena. “Our staff is working tirelessly to ensure that event in our arena will be a completely seamless and safe experience for everyone.”
There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross urgently needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.
“The Red Cross appreciates the Atlanta Hawks, Budweiser and our media sponsor, 11 Alive, for supporting our lifesaving mission, because we need the public’s help to avoid another blood shortage this summer,” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager of the Red Cross Georgia Blood Services Region. “Blood donors have played a vital role in the lives of patients who have needed lifesaving transfusions during this pandemic, and patients continue to depend on donors each and every day.”
It’s important to remember that red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation. So, they must constantly be replenished.
The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety precautions
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. sponsor code: AtlantaHawks. Donors of all blood types are needed. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, from a computer or mobile device on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
*Offers and items are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash. Items are available while supplies last.