BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The annual Blair Media Blood Blitz is returning to Altoona, Tuesday, July 20 at the Altoona Area Junior High School fieldhouse from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Participants are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the school. Appointments can be made through the Red Cross app, on the Red Cross website, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. However, walk-ins are welcomed because of the many slots available. The American Red Cross plans to collect 243 units of blood for the event.
The process for a patient should take no more than an hour. Those who donate blood will receive a $15 gift card by email and a lunch courtesy of Suburban Propane. Also, Red Cross T-shirts will be available while supplies last. They also a $10 gift card to Amazon.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, according to Red Cross. But, the U.S. is now experiencing a severe shortage with the reopening of the country in the pandemic. Red Cross officials are seeing a 10% rise in red cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers in 2021. That’s more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.
“The hospitals used about 75,000 more blood products in the past three months than anticipated,” District Manager of Donor Recruitment Autumn Moore said. “People during the pandemic didn’t get treated. So now there’s more surgeries, people’s diseases have digressed a bit further so they’re asking for more blood products right now.”
Along with blood, the Red Cross is also in need of platelet donors. To find a local platelet donation center, visit the Red Cross website.
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