Blood and platelet donations are still essential

STATE — Although there has been a significant and encouraging development Responding to the urgent need for blood across the country, the American Red Cross needs more people to donate in the coming weeks to recover from its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Those interested in helping are asked to make an appointment as soon as possible for a blood or platelet donation in their area to ensure that accident victims are rushed to the emergency room, people being treated for cancer and others who rely on blood product transfusions can receive lifesaving care without delay.

Since the Red Cross issued its first-ever blood crisis alert, harsh winter weather has further complicated efforts to restore the blood supply. Hundreds of blood drives were canceled across the country due to winter storms in January, forcing an estimated 6,500 blood and platelet donations not to be collected.

As February approaches and the effects of the spread of the omicron variant and winter weather linger, people are urged to book an appointment now to donate blood or platelets in the coming weeks using the Red Cross app. Blood Donor, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Those who come to donate blood or platelets from February 1-28, 2022 will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card via email, courtesy of Amazon.*

Employment and volunteer opportunities available
During this difficult time, the Red Cross is also actively recruiting blood collection staff and blood collection volunteers who play a vital role in supporting the country’s blood supply. The Red Cross encourages those interested to join us at a Red Cross hiring event on February 10, from noon to 6 p.m., at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 524 Forest Avenue, Portland, Maine.

Based in Portland, mobile Red Cross phlebotomists help organize blood drives throughout the community. Applicants will need a valid driver’s license, clean driving record, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, and must be prepared to travel to blood drives throughout Maine. No experience is necessary for entry-level positions.

The Red Cross offers a paid training program. We also offer health and dental benefits, 401K, paid time off – plus a $1,000 signing bonus. Interested persons are requested to bring a curriculum vitae on the day of the event. Walk-ins are welcome. Masks are mandatory. To learn more about the profession of phlebotomist, watch this short video: rdcrss.org/lifesavingrole.

Safety of blood drives
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center adheres to the highest safety and infection control standards, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been put in place to help protect the health of everyone present. Donors are asked to make an appointment before arriving at the drive-thru.

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