WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The American Red Cross is urging COVID-19 survivors to donate blood plasma for hospital patients who need it to recover.
As an incentive to help boost the national convalescent plasma shortage, the Red Cross has teamed up with the National Football League and is offering donors a chance to win two tickets to next year's Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.
The Red Cross is especially asking those who have recovered from COVID-19 to give blood because more donors are needed to help hospital patients.
Those who donate between Jan. 1 and 20 will be automatically entered to win the "Big Game at Home" package for viewing at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card.
People can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.
"While winter is historically a challenging time to collect blood due to the holidays and inclement weather, this year, COVID-19 has added a new challenge," Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the American Red Cross, said in a news release.
"Last month, the Red Cross distributed the greatest number of convalescent plasma products than any other month during the pandemic. With hospital distributions for this product increasing about 250% since October, it is vital that those who have recovered from COVID-19 donate blood or plasma so that we can continue to treat those critically ill with the virus," Young added.
COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to make a difference in the lives of COVID-19 patients, according to the Red Cross. People who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could give a patient's immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.
For more on donating blood, head to the American Red Cross.
SOURCE: American Red Cross, news release, Jan. 5, 2021