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Health

Red Cross Announces Blood Emergency; Drive Scheduled In Newtown

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FARMINGTON — To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who donate blood or platelets with the American Red Cross through August 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via e-mail.

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give now by activating Amazon’s Alexa Red Cross Blood Skill by saying, “Alexa, find a blood drive,” or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients.

The need for blood is constant. In the United States, every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross hopes to motivate donors to roll up a sleeve and alleviate the blood shortage across the country. Amazon’s partnership with the Red Cross is part of their commitment to “Right Now Needs” to help increase blood donations to ensure patient needs are met.

“We are grateful to Amazon for their support in addressing a ‘Right Now Need’ for blood donations,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Each donation truly matters to those counting on blood products to battle illness and injury. Today, we are asking the public to donate as soon as possible to ensure blood is available on hospital shelves for those in need.”

Blood transfusion is one of the most common inpatient hospital procedures in the US, and these blood products can only come from volunteer donors. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the US give blood.

A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, 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.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Fairfield County, through August 15, include the following:

Bethel: Tuesday, July 30, 9 am-2 pm, at Scalzo Group, 2 Stony Hill Road (Suite 101A);

Bridgeport: Tuesday, August 13, 1-6 pm, at Congregation B’nai Israel, 2710 Park Avenue;

Brookfield: Tuesday, August 6, 1-6:15 pm, at Raymour & Flanigan, 14 Candlewood Lake Road; and Wednesday, August 14, 1:30-6 pm, at Congregational Church of Brookfield, 160 Whisconier Road;

Danbury: Tuesday, July 29, 1-6 pm, at Hatters Town Park, 7 East Hayes Town Road; and Tuesday, August 13, 11 am-4:30 pm, at Danbury Hospital RSM, 24 Hospital Avenue;

Darien: Friday, August 9, 1-6:30 pm, at Darien Library, 1441 Post Road;

Fairfield: Wednesday, July 31, 1-6:45 pm, at Grace United Methodist Church, 1089 Fairfield Woods Road; Tuesday, August 13, 11:30 am-5 pm, at Whole Foods, 350 Grasmere Avenue; and Wednesday, August 14, 9 am-2 pm, at Congregation Beth El, 1200 Fairfield Woods Road;

Greenwich: Wednesday, July 31, 8 am-1 pm, Greenwich Hospital, 5 Perryridge Road; and Monday, August 5, 1:30-6:30 pm, at Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue;

Newtown: Sunday, August 4, 8 am-1 pm, at St Rose of Lima School, 40 Church Hill Road;

Norwalk: Thursday, August 1, 11 am-4 pm, at Avalon-East Norwalk, 8 Norden Place; and Sunday, August 9, 11 am-4:30 pm, at East Norwalk Library, 51 Van Zant Street;

Ridgefield: Thursday, August 1, 1-6 pm, at St Mary’s School, 183 High Ridge Avenue; Riverside: Thursday, August 15,1:30-6:30 pm, at Walgreens, 1333 E Putnam Avenue;

Shelton: Tuesday, July 30, 8 am-1:45 pm, at R.D. Scinto Towers, 2 Corporate Drive; Friday, August 2, 1-6 pm, Shelton Community Center, at 41 Church Street; and Thursday, August 8, 1-6 pm, at Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes, 5 Lake Road;

Sherman: Saturday, August 3, 8 am-1 pm, at Holy Trinity Church, 15 Route Center;

Stamford: Saturday, August 10, 7:45 am-1:15 pm, at Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court; and Tuesday, August 13, 11 am-4 pm, at Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, 4 Largo Drive South;

Trumbull: Thursday, August 1, 1-6 pm, at Seaquest, within Westfield Mall Trumbull, 5065 Main Street; Thursday, August 8, 1:15-6:15 pm, Maefairat Health Care Center, 21 Maefair Court; and Monday, August 12, 11:30 am-4:30 pm, at Trumbull Library, 33 Quality Street;

Westport: Wednesday, August 14, 1-6 pm, at Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road; and

Wilton: Wednesday, July 31, 12-5 pm, at The Greens at Cannondale, 435 Danbury Road.

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