Urgent need for Red Cross blood donations as hospital demand increases

By Christy Peters, American Red Cross Northern Ohio Region

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 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for blood has increased. Healthy individuals are urged to make appointments to donate in the days and weeks ahead to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.

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Donor Franklin Myles of Hudson

All those who come to give through May 31 will receive a special Red Cross T-shirt by mail, while supplies last. That would include donors at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday, May 30.  The Cleveland Browns are sponsoring the blood drive at the KeyBank Club,100 Alfred Lerner Way from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The KeyBank Club is located on the south side of the Stadium next to the Browns Pro Shop. Donors can park for free at the meters located in front of the KeyBank Club. The drive is the result of a $5 million donation from Anheuser-Busch to the American Red Cross.  The company, alongside its sports partners, identified available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive centers, which includes FirstEnergy Stadium.

And thanks to Amazon, all those who come to give June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal. More details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within just five days, so, they must constantly be replenished. 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.

Kevin Conwell masked

Donor Kevin Conwell of Cleveland

Blood Safety Precautions

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. 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.

Make an appointment to give

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. Blood donation sites in Northern Ohio include:

  • The Warzel Donation Center – 3747 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
  • The Parma Donation Center – 5585 Pearl Road, Parma, Ohio 44129
  • The Summit Donation Center – 501 W. Market Street, Akron, Ohio, 44303

The Toledo Donation Center – 3510 Executive Parkway, Toledo, Ohio 43606

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