In honor of Black History Month this February, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors — and especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 — to give blood to honor the legacies of African Americans like Dr. Charles Drew and Dr. Jerome Holland.
Drew, an African American surgeon, was the medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank in 1941. Drew’s research about the storage and shipment of blood plasma proved that blood could be stored for transfusions. Many of the processes he developed are still in use today.
As the first African American chair of the Red Cross Board of Governors, Holland was passionate about blood research. His commitment to providing the safest possible blood products for patients in need helped inform many safeguards the Red Cross has in place today to not only protect patients but also blood donors.
Blood donation appointments, from Feb. 16-28, can be made by downloading the 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.
As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give this February will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
This gift is made possible by a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, and the Red Cross hopes it will motivate donors to roll up a sleeve to ensure patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood products.
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms.
Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.
Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Upcoming donor locations in the San Fernando Valley include:
Feb. 18, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Burbank Elk’s Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Joslyn Adult Center, 1301 W. Olive Ave.; Feb. 21, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., St. Finbar Catholic Church, 2010 W. Olive Ave.; Feb. 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Castaway Restaurant, 1250 E. Harvard Road; Feb. 23, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Burbank Elk’s Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way; Feb. 27, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Burbank Elk’s Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way.
Feb. 21, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish, 15520 Ventura Blvd.
Feb. 16, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department, 10250 Etiwanda Ave. Feb. 22, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Skateland, 18140 Parthenia St.
Feb. 25, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., LAPD Valley Traffic Division, 7870 Nollan Place.
Feb. 23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., West Valley Family YMCA, 18810 Vanowen St.
Feb. 24, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, 1040 Coronel St.
Feb. 17, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., 94 Aero Squadron, 16320 Raymer St. Feb. 28, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., ONEgeneration, 17400 Victory Blvd.
Feb. 16-28, Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave., check for available times.