Red Cross says African American blood donors critically needed

News

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Since mid-March, the number of African Americans donating blood with the Red Cross has dropped by more than half.

Red Cross says this low donor turnout is largely due to blood drive cancellations at businesses, churches and schools.

The American Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to make appointments to donate blood to ensure blood remains readily available for patients who still rely on transfusions during this uncertain time.

Red Cross says African American blood donors are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease amid this coronavirus outbreak.

“Blood transfusion helps patients with sickle cell disease – the most common genetic blood disease in the U.S. – and African American donors play an important role in their treatment,” said Dr. Yvette Miller, executive medical officer, Red Cross Blood Services. “We want to assure donors that their health and safety is a top priority for the Red Cross. By adding safeguards to our drives in response to this coronavirus, we hope individuals will roll up a sleeve to help those counting on their donation.”

Ronnika McFall, American Red Cross spokesperson, says now is the perfect time to give blood.

“If you are healthy and you are feeling well and you are eligible to donate blood, and if you needed a sign, maybe you haven’t donated blood before and you were scared of a pinch.. it only takes a pinch to help save up to three lives,” said McFall.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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.

Upcoming blood drives:

Huntsville
5/15/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/16/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/17/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/18/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

Florence
5/19/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cornerstone Church of Christ – Lauderdale Co, 12101 Hwy 20

Huntsville
5/19/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/20/2020: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/22/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/23/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/24/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/25/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/26/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/27/2020: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

Florence
5/28/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Florence Fire and Police – Battle of the Badges, 702 S Seminary Street

Huntsville
5/29/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/30/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
5/31/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/1/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/2/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Turner Construction, 5435 Fowler Road Building 5435
6/2/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

Rogersville
6/3/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Rogersville Fire Department, 36 Wheeler Street

Huntsville
6/3/2020: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/5/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/6/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/7/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/8/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/9/2020: 12:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/10/2020: 10:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/12/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW
6/13/2020: 8:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Huntsville Blood Donation Center, 1015 Airport Rd., SW

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