The nation’s blood supply has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain the blood supply. Blood centers have implemented multiple strategies to reduce any potential risk of exposure to staff and donors. At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
Donors can give blood up to six times a year, every eight weeks. The process takes about 45 minutes; the actual blood collection usually takes less than 20 minutes. Donors should bring a photo ID. To find a blood donation center near you, visit redcrossblood.org or call the number shown on your screen.