GREAT FALLS, MT — As influenza activity picks up this fall, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood to ensure a strong blood supply for patients in need. Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well.
 
Flu shot doesn’t affect blood donation eligibility
One way to maintain health is to get a flu vaccine each fall. There is no waiting period to give blood after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.
 
For those that have the flu, it is important to wait until they no longer exhibit flu symptoms, have recovered completely and feel well before attempting to donate. Donors must feel healthy and well on the day of donation.
 
All blood types needed now
Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are urged to give now to ensure a stable supply this fall. Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
 
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 1-15:
 
Cascade County
Great Falls
11/12/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., History Museum, 422 2nd Street South
11/13/2019: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Riverview Elementary, Riverview Elementary School, 100 Smelter Ave
 
Chouteau County
Fort Benton
11/14/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Montana Agricultural Center, The Montana Agricultural Center, 1205 20th Street
 
 
How to donate blood
Blood Donation

Stock image.

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.
 
Volunteers needed
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products. For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit rdcrss.org/driver.
 
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.