MERRILLVILLE | You can be twice the hero to people in need this summer by donating the double red cell way through the American Red Cross.
A double red cell donation involves giving two units of red cells through an automated donation process.
“Red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component, and are needed by almost every patient who needs a blood transfusion,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.
While a donation of double red cells takes about 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation, the waiting period between donations is 112 days versus 56 days for whole blood. When taken together, the overall time commitment for one double red cell donations is less that giving two units of whole blood.
Donors who meet certain criteria may be eligible to safely donate double red cells. And blood donors with types O and B blood are frequently recruited for the automated donation process.
Both blood types are in high demand, with type O being the most requested by hospitals since it can be transfused to patients in other blood groups such as A, B and AB. Hospitals also use type O-negative blood in most emergency trauma cases when a patient’s blood type isn’t known.
“Double red cell donations can help streamline the blood collection process and boost the supply available to hospital patients,” said Whitman. “That’s incredibly important during the summer when supplies are in delicate balance.”
Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in Lake County:
- 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the Lowell Public Library, 1505 E. Commercial Ave.
- 8:30 to 11 a.m. Monday at Curves, 186 S. West St., Crown Point.
- 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at Advance Auto Parts, 914 N. Main St., Crown Point. Come to donate and receive a coupon for a 10 percent off a purchase at the Crown Point business.
- 3 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Main Room at Northwest Indiana Church of Christ, 1123 Merrillville Road, Crown Point.
- 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Highland Parks and Recreation Department's Lincoln Center, Classrooms 108 & 109, 2450 Lincoln St., Highland.
- 3:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday during National Night Out Against Crime at Munster Community Pool, 8837 Calumet Ave., Munster.
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at First Presbyterian Church Hall, 218 S. Court St., Crown Point.
- 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 11 at Family Video, 2939 45th St., Highland. Come to donate and receive a coupon for a free movie rental.
- 4 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at Family Video, 1440 Sheffield Ave., Dyer. Come to donate and receive a coupon for a free movie rental. Go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “famviddyer” to schedule a blood donation appointment.
- 1:30 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at VFW Post 717 Hall, 10400 W. 93rd Ave., St. John.
- Noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at Mike Anderson Chevrolet, 1550 E. 61st Ave., Merrillville. Come to donate and receive a coupon for one free taco courtesy of Taco Bell.
- 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Culver’s, 980 W. U.S. 30, Schererville. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard.
- Noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 16 in Celebrity West Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, 800 E. 81st Ave., Merrillville.
Also, the Merrillville Donor Center at 791 E. 83rd Ave. is open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. every Monday and from 8 a.m. until noon the first and third Saturday of each month .