WASHINGTON — A Red Cross effort to make blood donations easier and quicker includes a smartphone app that lets you track where your blood goes.
“On the app there’s a section that’s called ‘My Blood’s Journey,’” said Regina Boothe Bratton, spokesman for the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. “You can actually track where your blood goes, whether it stays locally or gets shipped to Florida.”
Bratton said there’s a donor with a rare blood enzyme in York, Pennsylvania, who knows that his donations always go to 3-year-old twins in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
“The twins were preemies and they need blood transfusions frequently and his blood always goes to those twins,” Bratton said.
But your experience might be different.
“The recipient dictates how much information can be released,” Bratton said.
The app also lists blood drives and donation centers, lets you make appointments and receive appointment reminders.
With RapidPass®, available on smartphone, tablet or computer, you can do all your pre-donation paperwork before showing up to the appointment.
“Shaves about 15 minutes off the donation process,” Bratton said.
Appointments also can be made online or by phone by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The holidays are notoriously lean times for blood donations. Bratton said the nation’s blood supply has been taxed by emergencies such as wildfires, hurricanes and mass shootings. Donations are needed.
“This is a very critical time for us and we need to make sure that we are supplied and ready to go. And right now we’re not. But we’re getting there,” Bratton said.