For the fourth consecutive year, San Diego State University (SDSU) and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help hospital patients through the Aztecs for Life blood drive. The San Diego community is invited to join Aztecs at a blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a new location: Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. The blood collected at Aztecs for Life blood drives have helped ensure cancer patients, trauma victims, surgery patients and others receive the blood products they need.
“This school year may look different but the need for blood donations remains constant,” said Steve Schnall, executive associate athletic director, San Diego State University. “One great way to help our community is to roll up a sleeve and ensure that hospital patients have the blood products they need. We look forward to another impactful blood drive this year, and thank Pechanga Arena for opening their doors to provide ample space for a socially-distanced blood drive.”
Blood drives are an essential service providing a medical necessity to hospital patients. With hundreds of school and university blood drives cancelled this fall and winter, donors and blood drive hosts like SDSU and Pechanga Arena are helping make up for the shortfall that may otherwise impact the blood supply. Patients rely on volunteer donors to receive blood transfusions since blood is perishable and cannot be manufactured or stockpiled.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Appointments are required and can be made by downloading the free 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, and using sponsor code aztecs.
As thanks, those who come to donate blood will receive a T-shirt and other give-aways including, a free meal gift card, courtesy of Raising Cane’s, and a Woodstock’s Pizza discount coupon, while supplies last.
The Red Cross is testing blood 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.
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.
About blood donation
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About San Diego State University
San Diego State University is a major public research institution that provides transformative experiences for its more than 36,000 students. SDSU offers bachelor’s degrees in 95 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas, as well as programs at regional microsites and around the globe. SDSU ranks as the number 1 California State University in federal research support, as one of the top public research Universities in California. In addition to academic offerings at SDSU, SDSU Imperial Valley and SDSU Georgia, SDSU Global Campus offers online training, certificates and degrees in areas of study designed to meet the needs of students everywhere. Students participate in transformational research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, internships and mentoring, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. SDSU is committed to inclusive excellence and known for its efforts advancing diversity and inclusion. SDSU is nationally recognized for its study abroad initiatives, veterans’ programs and support of LGBTQA+ students, as well as its powerhouse Division I Athletics Program. About 54% of SDSU’s undergraduate and graduate students are students of color. SDSU is also a long-standing Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and resides on Kumeyaay land. The university’s rich campus life and location offers opportunities for students to lead and engage with the creative and performing arts, career and internship opportunities with SDSU’s more than 400,000 living alumni, and the vibrant cultural life of the greater San Diego and U.S.- Mexico region.