The American Red Cross recognizes April as National Minority Health Month to bring awareness to health disparities that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority populations.
The American Red Cross, which supplies about 40 percent of blood to hospitals across the nation, reminds the public of the importance of blood and platelet donations. Patients living with sickle cell disease — the majority of whom are of African and Latin descent — and beta-thalassemia major, which disproportionately affects those of Asian descent, receive blood transfusions as a critical treatment.
Also, women who are Black are more likely than women who are white to experience severe postpartum hemorrhage, often requiring blood transfusion.
Donors are urged to make an appointment by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Free mini-health screening with information on the pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin may be administered.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows high standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass questionnaire, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.