WICHITA — As influenza activity picks up this fall, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or to ensure a strong blood supply for patients in need. Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well.

The flu shot doesn’t affect blood donation eligibility

One way to maintain health is to get a flu vaccine each fall. There is no waiting period to give blood or after receiving a flu shot as long as the donor is symptom-free and fever-free.

For those that have the flu, it is important to wait until they no longer exhibit flu symptoms, have recovered completely and feel well before attempting to donate. Donors must feel healthy and well on the day of donation.

All blood types needed now

Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to ensure a stable supply this fall. Stay healthy this flu season and make an appointment to donate blood 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.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities through Nov. 15:

— Hays Blood Donation Center, 208 E. 8th: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

— Oberlin: 11/13/2019, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Decatur Community High School, 605 E. Commercial

— Ellis: 11/14/2019, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Ellis High School, 1706 Monroe

— Hays

11/12/2019: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Hays High School, 2300 E. 13th St.

11/13/2019: 8:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, 1701 Hall St.

— Victoria: 11/12/2019, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Victoria High School, 1107 E. 10th St.

— Grainfield: 11/8/2019, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Opera House, 296 Main St.

— Downs: 11/7/2019, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Lakeside High School, 1306 Morgan

— Lucas: 11/15/2019, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., United Methodist Church, 332 N. Main St.

— Russell

11/11/2019: 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Otterbein United Methodist Church, 527 N Maple St.

— Wakeeney: 11/14/2019, 8:15 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., Trego Community High School, 1200 Russell


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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 and platelet 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.