Health Advice



The Red Cross says there's a national blood shortage. Here's how to donate

Madalyn Amato, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

The process is fairly simple. Show up for your appointment and register your information, answer some questions about your medical and personal history, and then ready yourself for the needle. After that, you're on your way.

To promote social distancing, donations are by appointment only. All donors must wear a mask when at the donation site, regardless of their vaccination status. The Red Cross says it implements social distancing practices at all points in the donation process, including the donor beds.

You can schedule your appointment by visiting, downloading the Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Or you can find your local center.

Why should you donate?

The Red Cross estimates that each blood donation saves the lives of three people.

Blood can be used to treat a wide range of medical needs, such as reintroducing platelets into cancer patients' bodies or providing antibodies for those being hospitalized because of COVID-19.


The shelf life of blood is short, so a constant stream of donations helps ensure there will be enough supply on hand.

You can donate blood every eight weeks and make a Power Red donation every 16 weeks.

Who's eligible to donate blood?

The Red Cross says that to donate, you must:


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