The American Red Cross's regular plea for blood and plasma donations haven't slowed due to the holidays.
In fact, as COVID-19 cases rise across the United States, so has the need for convalescent plasma, sparking a shortage of the lifesaving product.
In response, the agency is teaming up with the National Football League to give potential donors an extra incentive:
"All who come to donate blood or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win a getaway to next year's Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles," a release from agency said. "In addition, those who come to give Jan. 1-20, will also be automatically entered to win a Big Game at Home package, which includes a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun."
The need for blood products has become especially acute during the pandemic, an American Red Cross spokesman said.
"Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus," Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services, said in the release. "With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generation donations are vital in helping save lives throughout the winter — a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need."
Goodhue explained that individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 "may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient's immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus."
There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help — via convalescent plasma donation or by donating whole blood.
There are a number of dates and locations locally where donations can be made: from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at the Chehalem Cultural Center, 415 E. Sheridan St.; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at the Newberg Fred Meyer; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at Northwest Christian Church, 2315 Villa Road.
Donors must provide a driver's license, blood donor card or two other types of identification at check-in. Donors must be 17 or older (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health to be eligible.
For more information, visit redcross.org or visit the agency on Twitter at @RedCross.
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