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New pass could bring more donors to Red Cross

People trickled in and out of the blood drive at MFA Inc. early Thursday afternoon.

Many waited at least 10 minutes for their health screening.

Jennifer Robinson barely waited two.

She used the new Red Cross rapid pass to answer the health questions online before she gave blood and said it saved her time.

“I only had to answer three questions in the booth with them,” she said.

Because giving blood can take a while, Red Cross donation supervisor Craig Jackson said many people don’t take the time, especially in the summer.

“It’s a very tough time for us to collect, especially with the heat, as we’ve seen for the last couple of days,” he said. “You’ve got ball games, and different stuff. traveling, vacation. A lot of your regular donors don’t make the time to donate.”

This week, the Red Cross unveiled the rapid pass to help those busy donors save time and lives.

“This allows you to do that in the privacy of your home or your office before you come in to donate blood,” he said.

Donation technicians hope the rapid pass brings in more donors as well as makes more room for them.

“Anyway that we can get them in and out as fast as possible, it would allow us to get some more donors in there,” he said.

Jackson said while they get lots of 50+ donors, they tend to drop off as they get older and start taking more medication. He hopes the pass also attracts younger, healthier donors.

“I think it will work well with college, the younger crowd that is a little bit more on board with technology, and also your business professionals that are very short on time and want to get in and out,” he said.

The University of Missouri hosts what it calls the largest blood drive in the world every fall, and the Red Cross hopes it can implement the new rapid pass at that blood drive.

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