AIKEN, S.C. (April 28, 2020) — With no known end date to the coronavirus fight, the American Red Cross is encouraging healthy individuals to make appointments to donate blood to ensure a readily available supply for patients who still rely on transfusion. In partnership with the City of Aiken, Amentum, Savannah River Remediation and the Aiken Standard, the Red Cross invites donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve at the Aiken Community Blood Drive on Wednesday, May 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Amentum Center for Performing Arts.

“Blood donation is essential to the health of our communities,” said Shonette Sneed, regional donor services executive, South Carolina Blood Services Region. “We are grateful to our partners for stepping up to provide an opportunity for those who are healthy and feeling well to donate blood and help stock hospital shelves during this uncertain time.”

The need for blood for trauma patients, children battling cancer, mothers experiencing childbirth complications, patients with sickle cell disease and others continues. Donated blood has a limited shelf life of 42 days so the supply must constantly be replenished.

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.

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 safeguard donors, volunteers and employees.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, 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 RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.