American Red Cross

Our Mission

Since 1881, the American Red Cross has aided victims of natural disasters and empowered people to respond to emergencies and help others. It also supports military members and their families; collects, processes and distributes blood; offers community services for the needy; provides international relief and development; and teaches preparedness and health & safety courses such as first aid/CPR.

Activity

  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    If a donor’s low hemoglobin/hematocrit is due to low iron, he or she can replenish iron levels by eating more high-iron foods or taking supplements. Foods rich in iron include red meat, fish, poultry, and liver. Other good sources are iron fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and prunes. Eating food...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Hematocrit and hemoglobin measurements are blood tests. Hemoglobin enables red cells to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide. The hemoglobin is checked before each donation to 
    ensure that the donor has adequate red blood cell levels to donate blood. Blood donors must have a minimum of 12.5 g/dL...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Some blood groups are more prominent in certain ethnic groups. For example, about 60 percent of the Latino population is group O. Only about 45 percent of the population of other ethnic groups is group O.  Many African Americans have group O or B blood. Nearly 20 percent of all African Americans...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Individuals with the blood group O Rh negative are called “universal donors” because their red blood cells can be transfused to people of all blood groups. This is why the Red Cross is constantly recruiting donors whose blood type is O Rh negative. Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Karl Landsteiner will always be honored for his discovery of blood groups. In 1901, he showed that transfusions between individuals of like blood groups (A to A, B to B) do not result in the destruction of blood cells. Transfused red blood cells and the patient’s own red blood cells destroy each other only when...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Most people have an inherited antigen on their red blood cells known as Rh, or D antigen. When the D antigen is present, a person’s blood is designated Rh positive. When D antigen is missing, the blood group is designated Rh negative. In general, Rh negative blood is given to Rh negative patients,...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Nearly all people belong to one of the four major groups in the ABO blood typing system: A, B, AB, and O. Blood groups are determined by antigens found on an individual’s red blood cells. An antigen is a protein or carbohydrate on the cell that triggers an immune response, such as the formation of...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    White blood cells help fight infection. Individuals with a low white blood cell count, who are at risk for serious infections, may benefit from this type of transfusion. Those individuals who are unresponsive to antibiotic therapy may also benefit from this type of transfusion. Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    An individual can give up to 24 apheresis platelet donations each year. Apheresis platelet donors have 24 opportunities each year to help save a life. Some apheresis donations can generate 2 or 3 adult-size platelet transfusion doses from one donation! Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Apheresis is the process by which platelets and other blood components are collected from a donor. The word “Apheresis” is derived from the Late Latin word “Aphaeresis” meaning “to take away.” This process is accomplished by using a machine called a cell separator. Most commonly, blood is drawn from...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Platelets are used to treat a condition called thrombocytopenia, in which there is a shortage of platelets, as well as to treat platelet function abnormalities.  Platelets are critically important to the survival of many patients with clotting problems, aplastic anemia, leukemia, cancer, and patients who will...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Platelets are prepared by using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the donated unit of whole blood. Platelets may also be obtained from a donor by a process known as apheresis, or plateletpheresis. In this process, blood is drawn from the donor into an apheresis instrument which se...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Cryoprecipitated Antihemophilic Factor (“Cryoprecipitate” or “Cryo”) is a portion of plasma rich in clotting factors, including Factor VIII and fibrinogen. “Cryo” is prepared by freezing plasma and then slowly thawing the frozen plasma. It can be used to prevent or control bleeding in those with hemophilia...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Whole blood is living tissue circulating through the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the body’s tissues. Whole blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets suspended in a watery fluid called...Read More
  • American Red Cross
    American Red Cross answered:
    Each element of blood performs a special function in the body. The main elements of blood include two types of cells, platelets, and plasma. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to all other body tissues. In the tissues, these cells pick up carbon dioxide that is carried back to the lungs to be released...Read More