The American Red Cross appreciates all heroes who make room in their schedules during the busy holiday season to help patients in need. Since its launch over two years ago, the Red Cross RapidPass® continues to help save time for blood and platelet donors. RapidPass is now compatible with most mobile devices, offering even more convenience to donors.

NEW MOBILE OPTION RapidPass technology allows donors to complete pre-donation reading and answer health history questions from a personal computer or mobile device prior to arriving at a blood drive or donation center. Donors can then print their RapidPass or show the PDF on their mobile device when they arrive to donate. Red Cross staff scan the RapidPass form, review the donor's answers and complete all other aspects of the health history exam. RapidPass may reduce the time donors spend at blood drives by up to 15 minutes.

To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at

MORE TIME-SAVING TIPS THIS HOLIDAY The Red Cross strives to make the donation process as convenient as possible for those who roll up a sleeve to give the gift of life. Donors can save additional time by using the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule a specific time to donate. The smoothest and fastest donations occur when donors make an appointment and use RapidPass.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. 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. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Platelet donors can roll up a sleeve every seven days, up to 24 times year. Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation. It's important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible to help ensure this potentially lifesaving blood product is available for patients whenever and wherever needed.