Red Cross laboratories and dedicated scientists play a vital role matching lifesaving blood for patients with sickle cell disease

Written by Judith Weeks with Photography by Bill Thawley

A person with Sickle Cell Disease can receive as many as 100 units of blood in one year. These blood transfusions are necessary to treat complications from this condition. But the transfusion itself can cause complications. Blood from a pool of donors is matched best as possible; however, a person with Sickle Cell Disease may develop an immune response making it more difficult to find donors. Most persons with Sickle Cell Disease are African American and the most compatible blood generally comes from African Americans.

American Red Cross Laboratories in Philadelphia play a critical role typing blood donated by African Americans.

The National Molecular Laboratory (NML) is the only American Red Cross Laboratory providing genotyping of donors. A person’s genomic DNA contains information that is a more comprehensive predictor of a close blood match than the usual serology typing. African American donors who are genotyped are given the opportunity for membership in the American Rare Blood Donor Program, a national initiative to ensure blood is available for those who need it.

Dr. Margaret Keller, pictured below, Executive Director, National Laboratories, explained there is a shortage of African American donors. Last year the American Red Cross began the Sickle Cell Initiative to increase the number of active African American donors.

Test tubes of donor’s blood are delivered to the NML for genotyping. Giancarlo Rendon, pictured below, examines a sample of DNA purified from whole blood.

Below, Melissa Verstegen places tiny drops of donor’s DNA on a glass slide.

Dr. Martin Chou, pictured below, Director of the NML, explains the MALDI TOF analyzer used for identification of DNA in each donor’s sample

Below, Julia Nezhinsky places the slide with DNA into the MALDI TOF analyzer.

Below, Daria Buono analyzes DNA data from the MALDI TOF analyzer identifying genes carried by a donor.

The National Reference Laboratory for Specialized Testing (NRLST) has expertise for specialized serology. Serology is used for typing ABO and Rh blood groups. This laboratory takes serology a step further with a panel of antibodies for typing blood units from African American donors selecting the best donor for patients with Sickle Cell Disease.

Below, Dexter Facey, Manager, places cartridges into an automated system for typing African American blood donors.

The Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (IRL) is one of forty-five American Red Cross IRLs nationwide. This laboratory has the resources for red blood cell serology typing of rare blood types. It selects blood units from African American donors that best match a patient with Sickle Cell Disease.

Below, Marie Dolce types blood units from African American donors.

Below, Paul Mansfield, IRL Director, and Leslie Pride review blood typing results before releasing blood units sent to hospitals where patients are transfused.

Paul explains “the American Red Cross Sickle Cell Initiative has brought the entire organization together focusing on serving patients with Sickle Cell Disease.”

The work of these laboratory scientists is critical! Lives are saved by advanced genotyping and serologic typing performed at the American Red Cross, allowing the best possible blood products for persons with Sickle Cell Disease.

To learn more about sickle cell disease, check out the following links:

Turn over a new leaf; give blood or platelets this fall

By Biomedical Field Communications

On the first day of fall, the American Red Cross is asking the public to start the season off with a lifesaving blood or platelet donation. While the leaves turn, the need for blood never changes. Those who give this fall play an important role in keeping the blood supply high enough to help patients counting on blood products for care– especially ahead of the busy holiday season. Book a time to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, the Red Cross is offering these exciting opportunities for donors:

  • All who come to give through Sept. 30 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP NASCAR racing experience, including two tickets to a 2023 Sport Clips Haircuts-sponsored race of the winner’s choice, round-trip airfare for two, up to a three-night hotel stay, and entry to a Sport Clips racetrack hospitality tent, if available, plus a $750 gift card, thanks to Sport Clips.
  • Those who come to give in September will also receive a coupon for a free haircut by email, also thanks to Sport Clips. Details are available at rcblood.org/racetogive.
  • All who come to give Oct. 1-31, 2022, will receive a $5 e-Gift Card by email to a merchant of choice.

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.

Tahirah Austin-Muhammad shares her sickle cell journey, advocates for healthcare equality

By Alana Mauger

Tahirah Austin-Muhammad. Submitted photo

When Tahirah Austin-Muhammad was born in the late 1980s, testing for sickle cell disease in newborns was not a standard practice at many hospitals. So when her symptoms appeared at age 4 – tiredness, aches and pains, stomach aches – Tahriah’s parents treated it the only way they knew how – Tylenol, homemade rubs and lots of love.

But when she started kindergarten, it became clear that something else was going on.

“I loved to play, but it tired me out quickly. I couldn’t keep up with my peers physically,” she recalled. “Everything came to a head when I passed out at school. I stood up, walked to the door and blacked out.”

Tahirah describes the situation as “being blurry” when she woke up, but she remembers feeling tired and being in so much pain that she couldn’t sit up. Her dad arrived at the school and drove her straight to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

She was first diagnosed with leukemia, but then Dr. Kim Smith, a physician who specialized in sickle cell disease, took a second look at her lab work.

“Sickle cell disease is often misdiagnosed. That’s why it’s important to have doctors who look like us,” Tahirah shared.

That was her first sickle cell crisis at age 6, but it would be far from her last. Tahirah spent most of fourth grade hospitalized at CHOP.  Later her spleen, gallbladder and appendix were removed in the first of many major surgeries.

Despite it all, she credits her parents and CHOP family for instilling in her the belief that there’s nothing she couldn’t do.

“I ran track in eighth grade. I just had to take more breaks and hydrate a lot more,” she said.

Pediatric vs adult care

Tahirah earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Neumann University and has traveled the world. She has thrived in spite of her condition. But like all people living with sickle cell disease, her transition from pediatric to adult care was wrought with obstacles.

“My first experience in an adult [emergency department], I sat there for over 10 hours. I cried. I called my social worker at CHOP and begged to come back,” she recalled. “She provided me with real-time advocacy – what to say to get the help I needed. It’s so stressful when you’re in a pain crisis.”

In the U.S., sickle cell disease predominately affects people who are Black/African American or Latinx. Tahirah explains that it’s often seen as a childhood disease.

“The goal pediatrics had was for us to survive to adulthood, but the adult side wasn’t ready for us,” she said. “There is racial bias and extreme inequities in health care. I realized there was a need for support for adults with sickle cell once I got into adult care. Too many of us were dying for preventable things.”

Sickle cell advocacy

In 2017, Tahirah co-founded the Philadelphia-based Crescent Foundation, whose mission is to support sickle cell survivors, families and communities with evidence-based research and advocacy. Among its initiatives, the foundation helps sickle cell patients ages 18-24 transition into adult care. It also provides case management to help patients and their families coordinate their medical and social service needs. Importantly, the foundation also educates the next generation of health care professionals about sickle cell disease.

Tahirah admits that as her status, and the status of her fellow Crescent Foundation co-founders, changed in the city of Philadelphia, so did their access to quality health care.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tahirah was hospitalized for the first time in 6 years. She describes being put into triage within 5 minutes of arriving in the ER before being admitted for a lung infection. At the same time, in the same hospital where she was receiving compassionate treatment, a young woman was repeatedly calling the Crescent Foundation pleading for help because she had already been in the waiting room for 8 hours.

“I felt helpless; the only difference was they recognized me. My care has changed, and it shouldn’t have,” she said. “Good, compassionate care should be given to everyone at all times.”

The Crescent Foundation held a Red Cross Sickle Cell Awareness Month blood drive in 2021. Pictured (from left): La Valle Warren, Red Cross sickle cell account manager; Tahirah Austin-Muhammad, Crescent Foundation COO and co-founder; Jawanda Hargrove and Shaun Griggs, sickle cell patient advocates; and Ediomi Utuk-Lowery, Crescent Foundation chief marketing and communications officer and co-founder. Photo by Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

Blood donations help

Like many sickle cell survivors, blood transfusions play an important role in Tahirah’s treatment – but it has to be the right match. Repeated blood transfusions over someone’s lifetime can cause a patient to develop a life-threatening immune response against blood from donors that is not closely matched to their own – something Tahirah has experienced more than once.

In Philadelphia, blood from donors who self-identify as Black or African-American is marked with a blue tie tag, designating it as a potential match for a sickle cell patient. Extra tests are performed to ensure recipients receive the right blood.

“I wouldn’t be sitting here today without someone with a good heart,” said Tahirah. “Thank you to whoever is donating blood, but we need so much more.”

 Visit our website to learn more about how blood donations help people living with sickle cell disease and the importance of maintaining a diverse blood supply for patients.

Sickle Cell Awareness Month: Red Cross announces ‘Joined by Blood’ initiative to help increase compatible blood donations for patients

By Alana Mauger

During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.

Sickle cell disease impacts more than 100,000 people across the country, most of whom are of African descent. Regular blood transfusions are critical to managing extreme pain and life-threatening complications faced by many. Unfortunately, they may develop an immune response against blood from donors that is not closely matched to their own. However, because most individuals who are Black have unique structures on their red blood cells that are not often found in other donor populations, 1 in 3 African American blood donors is a match for people with sickle cell disease.

Seasonal changes can trigger pain crises for those battling sickle cell – possibly increasing the need for lifesaving blood transfusions. As summer ends, book a time to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you, all who come to give through Sept. 18 will get an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Life-threatening complications 

Sickle cell disease distorts soft, round blood cells and turns them hard and crescent-shaped, which can cause severe pain. “When cells harden, they can get caught in blood vessels, potentially leading to stroke and organ failure,” says Dr. David Moolten, Red Cross Medical Director for the Penn Jersey region. “Transfusions provide healthy blood cells, unblocking blood vessels and delivering oxygen, minimizing crises patients with sickle cell may face.”  

Like many individuals living with sickle cell disease, Tahirah Austin-Muhammad, COO and co-founder of the Crescent Foundation in Philadelphia, says blood transfusions are an important part of her ongoing treatment – but it has to be the right match. She has been hospitalized for reactions to transfused blood more than once. She has also had to wait days for transfusions when a match wasn’t readily available.

“I wouldn’t be sitting here today without someone with a good heart,” said Austin-Muhammad. “Thank you to whoever is donating blood, but we need so much more.”

Joined by Blood

To help ensure patients have the blood products they need, the American Red Cross is working with partners in the Black community to grow the number of blood donors who are Black through the sickle cell initiative, which launched in 2021. In the first year of the initiative, the number of first-time African American blood donors who gave with the Red Cross increased by 60%. In September and October, the Red Cross launches Joined by Blood, a fall component of the initiative where the Red Cross is teaming up with community organizations, like the National Pan-Hellenic Council and others, to host blood drives and inspire donors who are Black to give blood to support patients with sickle cell disease. To learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

The Red Cross has dozens of community blood donation opportunities every day in the Greater Philadelphia Region, including the following sickle cell-focused blood drives. For a full list, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

  • Sept. 10, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. – Masons Prince Hall, 4301 N. Broad St., Philadelphia
  • Sept. 19, 1-6 p.m. – Temple University HealthLink, Howard Gittis Student Center, 1755 N. 13th St., Philadelphia
  • Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. – University of Pennsylvania Hospital, 1 Convention Ave.
  • Sept. 23, 1-6 p.m. – Temple University Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Howard Gittis Student Center, 175 N. 13th St., Philadelphia
  • Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., 301 N. Jackson St., Media
  • Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Bethlehem Baptist Church, 712 Penllyn Pike, Spring House
  • Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – CHOP Sickle Cell Parent Network at PA Senior Center on the Avenue of the Arts, 509 S. Broad St.
  • Sept. 28, 1-6 p.m. – Chester Senior Center, 721 Hayes St., Chester

Testing for sickle cell trait

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.   

To learn more about sickle cell disease, check out the following links:

Gov. Wolf declares Sept. 4 Blood Donation Day in Pennsylvania

By Alana Mauger

Governor Tom Wolf signed a proclamation designating Sept. 4, 2022 as Blood Donation Day in Pennsylvania – part of a National Blood Donation Week effort to encourage eligible donors to give blood around Labor Day.  The American Red Cross invites the Greater Philadelphia community to help save lives at blood drives planned this week.  

For the seventh consecutive year, media personality Dr. Daliah Wachs has worked to enlist all 50 states in promoting blood donation. Dr. Daliah, who hosts a syndicated radio program on GCN and is heard on iHeart Radio, speaks to her listeners weekly about various medical topics and understands why it’s important to have a robust blood supply. After hearing about an emergency need for more donors, she decided to establish a National Blood Donation Day, strategically timed right around the Labor Day holiday, when blood donations often decline due to busy holiday schedules. Dr. Daliah has asked each state governor to join her by proclaiming the service day in their home state.

“Blood and platelet donations are needed every day for unexpected emergencies and serious medical conditions, such as cancer or sickle cell disease,” said Guy Triano, CEO for the Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region. “Giving blood is a meaningful way to help your community, and now is the perfect time to roll up a sleeve to make a potentially lifesaving difference.”

To learn more about blood donation, including eligibility information, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). If you were deferred from donating in the past, you may be able to donate again.

Red Cross Donor Services employee Rosanne Marks retires after 40 years of dedicated service

By Nathan Fligelman

Rosanne Marks. Submitted photo

Not many people have made as impressive an impact during their careers as American Red Cross employee Rosanne Marks, who recently retired after enthusiastically helping to promote the “One Red Cross” motto and mission for nearly half a century.

Working as a Donor Services representative, Rosanne has impacted up to an estimated 500,000 patients’ lives by helping to ensure blood is available when it’s needed across the country. She says her fondest memories from working with the Red Cross are derived from meeting patients and conversing with their families and friends.

“I’ll never forget hearing a mother say that when her son received blood, she could see the life being breathed back into him,” she shared. “The stories didn’t always have a happy ending, but they always made a lasting impression and motivated me to recruit more blood donors and save more lives. I am most inspired by the families of patients who received blood.”

Whether she was working with large pharmaceutical companies, local municipalities or community organizations, Rosanne’s objective was to make certain that blood drive sponsors, and individual blood donors, knew they were more than just a number. She speaks with great affection about her work with the Peter Powerhouse Foundation, led by a young man named Peter Zucca and his family, which sponsored over 100 blood drives and collected 10,000 blood donations over the past 7 years.

“My philosophy is that there is no such word as ‘no.’ It is just a delayed ‘maybe,’” she said. “Remember that the number one reason that people don’t give blood is because nobody ever asked them.”

As she looks back on her career, Rosanne prominently remembers the days that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In response to the terrible situation, thousands of Red Cross supporters were eager to donate, volunteer and deliver aid to first responders. Rosanne’s work during this time wholly affirmed her desire to help nurture and heal people, as well as inspired her to continue serving the Red Cross to the best of her ability.

Rosanne hopes to inspire current and future Red Crossers as they embark upon a career designed to both encourage and help others the way she was inspired by former Donor Recruitment Director Rosemary Leyland.

“The American Red Cross is a ministry to me. It is my responsibility to provide my expertise and leadership to the new generation of account managers,” she shared.

The American Red Cross is grateful for Rosanne’s service and wishes her well in the next stage of career.

Peter Powerhouse Foundation reaches a key milestone in helping children battle cancer

By Alana Mauger

The Red Cross recognized the Peter Powerhouse Foundation for collecting over 10,000 blood donations over the past 7 years. Pictured at a blood drive on July 13, 2022 is the Zucca family (from left) Dawn, Peter and Dennis. Photo by Sandi Yanisko/American Red Cross

This summer, the Peter Powerhouse Foundation reached an extraordinary milestone – more than 100 American Red Cross blood drives hosted and over 10,000 blood donations collected. Driven by its mission to improve the lives of children fighting cancer, the Foundation started hosting blood drives in 2015.

Peter Zucca and his parents Dawn and Dennis are uniquely qualified to operate a foundation that supports kids and families dealing with childhood cancer. Peter was only 10 months old when he was first diagnosed with cancer. After 8 months of surgeries and treatments, he was given a 24% chance of survival. Years of therapies and more than a dozen surgeries later, Peter’s right leg was amputated above the knee because of a Desmoid Tumor. He was 10 years old.  

Peter channeled his fighting spirit and determination into helping address the costs of care, research and treatment needs of other children with cancer. He wanted to help kids like him. The Peter Powerhouse Foundation was born. Two years later the foundation started hosting blood drives – grateful that the 51 units of blood had been available for young Peter when he needed it.

“Peter launched one of the most successful Red Cross blood drive campaigns across the country,” said Rosanne Marks, who recently retired after 40 years as a Red Cross Donor Services account manager. “And now, 7 years later, he marks the unbelievable milestone of sponsoring over 100 blood drives and collecting 10,000 blood donations, which helped up to 30,000 cancer patients, premature babies, accident victims and others with life-threatening illness or trauma.”

In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down blood collection for almost a week, Donor Services managers scrambled to find places willing to host blood drives. The Peter Powerhouse Foundation stepped up once again.

“Just when most other sponsors were cancelling their blood drives, Peter and his mom Dawn volunteered to become an emergency blood drive site. They held blood drives every day for two weeks,” shared Rosanne. “Just in the year 2020, they hosted dozens of blood drives and collected 4,000 blood donations.” 

The drives – held regularly at Towamencin Mennonite Church in Kulpsville – play a major role in supplying blood to patients in the Penn Jersey region. For his efforts, Peter has received numerous Red Cross scholarships through the Leaders Save Lives program and sits on the Red Cross Delaware Valley Chapter Board of Directors, in addition to earning many community accolades.

According to Rosanne, meeting Peter, Dawn and Dennis was a life-changing experience.

“During my 40-year career with the Red Cross, the Zucca family has demonstrated the highest level of commitment, organization and positive influence in their blood drive program. They have impacted thousands of lives and have become the role model for all blood drive sponsors in the Penn-Jersey region and the national American Red Cross,” she said.  “They’ve served our community in a way that has set the standard of excellence. Peter is truly a superstar.”

Today, that “superstar” is a 19-year-old sophomore studying divinity at Lipscomb University. During a July blood drive while Peter was home on summer break, the Red Cross presented the Peter Powerhouse Foundation with a plaque and cake to mark the tremendous milestone of 10,000 donations.

Red Cross welcomes Zeta Phi Beta to Philadelphia for sickle cell education and blood drive

By La Valle Warren, American Red Cross Regional Sickle Cell Account Manager

La Valle Warren (second from right) pictured with Red Cross collections staff at the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority blood drive on July 21, 2022 in Philadelphia. Submitted photo

The American Red Cross Sickle Cell Initiative was pleased to kick off its National Partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in Philadelphia July 18- 24 for their Grand Boule’ 2022, which saw more than 6,000 members show up and show out beautifully in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.

Zeta Phi Beta International President Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker and National Medical Director Dr. Raina Groover collaborated with Red Cross Biomedical Partnership Officer Wendy Tabron and me to welcome the Zeta’s to Philadelphia. The Red Cross hosted a sickle cell disease educational marketing table during the conference over 5 days and held a successful blood drive for its members. Both events took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

With the assistance of  seven-year Red Cross volunteer Eva Oakley from Raleigh N.C., I helped to educate over 8 regions about Sickle Cell Disease. It was exhausting, but I appreciated the great networking and was honored to partake in the Zeta partnership held in our local region.

In Philadelphia and New Jersey, Red Cross blood donations from individuals who self-identify as Black or African American are labeled with a sickle cell blue tag to indicate they may be a match for sickle cell patients. Additional testing is performed these collected donations to match them as closely as possible with sickle cell patients who need a transfusion. When patients face a sickle cell crisis, blood transfusions can save their lives. Testing is also performed for the sickle cell trait on all donations from self-identified African American donors at every blood drive or blood donation center.

The American Red Cross Sickle Cell Initiative is continuing to partner with Black community-based organizations and community groups to help ensure that hospitals have a diverse blood supply. We’re educating and building awareness about the important role that Black blood donors play in helping people with sickle cell disease — the most common genetic blood disease that primarily affects families who are African American or of African descent. When I am out in communities advocating, it feels like a big family reunion, and it’s my duty to educate my community on sickle cell disease.

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and our Sickle Cell Initiative will focus on hosting blood drives with churches and faith-based organization for our “Community of Giving Blood Drive Series” throughout the month.

Visit our website to learn more about sickle cell disease.

Red Cross and Dunkin’ team up to encourage blood donations this August

By Dave Skutnik

Jessica Weissman (left), field marketing manager, Dunkin’ Brands, presents an oversized voucher to Guy Triano, regional CEO, American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania on Aug. 2, 2022 in Philadelphia. Photo by Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

Local blood donors are in for a treat this August. Dunkin’ of Greater Philadelphia is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross to provide 25,000 vouchers to American Red Cross blood donors in the region during August.

To thank donors who help refuel the blood supply throughout August, presenting donors will receive a Dunkin’ voucher for a free Medium Hot or Iced Beverage* and a free Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap Sandwich**, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia area, while supplies last.

Dunkin’ and the American Red Cross celebrated the partnership today with a special media event at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center. The Dunkin’ Community Cruiser was on-site, handing out free samples of Iced Coffee to celebrate the partnership kickoff.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dunkin’ and encourage donors to give to help prevent a summer blood shortage,” said Guy Triano, CEO, American Red Cross of Philadelphia. “As you finalize your plans for the end of summer, make a blood or platelet donation appointment part of them and receive this special gift from Dunkin’.”

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“Dunkin’ is excited to once again team up with the American Red Cross and reward deserving blood donors this August,” said Jessica Weissman, Senior Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’. “We hope that by offering donors a free Medium Hot or Iced Beverage and Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap, Dunkin’ will help encourage the Philadelphia community to stop by a local blood drive or donation center and donate blood this summer.”

————————–

*Excludes Frozen Beverages. Offer not valid on Mobile App orders. Dairy alternative, espresso shots and cold foam may be an additional charge. Limit one per customer per visit. Shop must retain coupon. May not be combined with other offers or promotions. No substitutions. Consumer must pay applicable tax. Void if copied, transferred or sold and where prohibited or restricted by law. Cash Value 1/20 of 1 cent. Terms apply. Good at participating Dunkin’ locations in Kent and New Castle Counties, DE; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem Counties, NJ; Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia Counties, PA. EXP: 9/12/22.

** Offer not valid on Mobile App orders. Limit one per customer per visit. Shop must retain coupon. May not be combined with other offers or promotions. No substitutions. Consumer must pay applicable tax. Void if copied, transferred or sold and where prohibited or restricted by law. Cash Value 1/20 of 1 cent. Terms apply. Good at participating Dunkin’ locations in Kent and New Castle Counties, DE; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem Counties, NJ; Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia Counties, PA. EXP: 9/12/22.

Blood and platelet donors needed now to prevent a summer shortage

By American Red Cross Biomedical Communications

Just as most cars need to be refueled constantly, so does the nation’s blood supply. The American Red Cross has faced a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Donors are needed to make an appointment to give in August to help prevent a blood shortage.

The decline in donations has caused the Red Cross blood supply to shrink nearly 20% in recent weeks. The availability of blood products will continue to decline if donations do not increase. People should not wait until they hear there is a blood shortage to give. Type O negative blood donors and platelet donors are especially needed now.

“This is a concerning trend that may soon make it tougher to keep blood products stocked on hospital shelves,” said Paul Sullivan, Red Cross senior vice president of donor services. “By choosing a time to give now, donors can help pump up the blood supply for those in immediate need of lifesaving care and those who rely on transfusions for treatment.”

Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fuel up on us

As blood and platelet donations drop, gas prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. As a thank-you, all who come to give Aug. 1-31 will be automatically entered for a chance to win gas for a year, a $6,000 value. There will be three lucky winners. Everyone who comes to give blood or platelets in August will also receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice.*

*Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/fuel for details.