Red Cross offers Amazon gift cards amid blood shortage

Michigan
Hand squeezing ball during blood donation

A Sept. 13, 2005 photo shows a man squeezing a stress ball while donating blood at a Red Cross drive. (AP Photo/Jose F. Moreno)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The American Red Cross is temporarily offering $5 Amazon gift cards to donors to help combat an emergency blood shortage.

The deal is open to those who donate blood or platelets at an American Red Cross drive between July 29 and Aug. 29.

The Red Cross says a $1 million donation from Amazon made this incentive possible at a time when the organization has a blood supply that will last fewer than three days without replenishment.

The Red Cross says blood transfusions are among the most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S., but the blood supply can only come from donors. However, the organization says only 3 out of 100 Americans give blood.

The Red Cross says a blood donation appointment takes an hour, but the donation itself takes 8-10 minutes to complete. Those who are RapidPass donors can shave off 15 minutes from the hourlong process by having their pre-donation information filled out ahead of time.

Donors must bring their driver’s license or blood donor card to give blood. They also must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.

To find a blood drive near you, call 1.800.733.2767, use the Red Cross app or visit RedCrossBlood.org.

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