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MONDAY, Jan. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Want free tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami? Roll up your sleeve and give blood this week.
The American Red Cross has an urgent need for all blood types, but especially for type O.
People who donate blood or platelets by Jan. 19 will be entered automatically in a drawing for two tickets to this year's big game.
It's part of an effort by the Red Cross and the National Football League to encourage football fans and others to be a part of National Blood Donor Month in January.
"The winter is historically a challenging time to collect blood -- with the holidays, winter weather and flu -- and, unfortunately, this year is no different," said Chris Hrouda, president of American Red Cross Biomedical Services.
"That is why we are so excited to team up with the NFL to help motivate and thank donors who come in and roll up a sleeve so that patients have access to the lifesaving treatment they need in the weeks to come," he added in an American Red Cross news release.
You can make an appointment to donate blood by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa, or visiting the Red Cross website.
Type O negative is the universal blood type and is used in emergency rooms when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in critical need of blood.
A blood donation takes about an hour from beginning to end, but the donation itself only takes about 10 minutes.
Donors must show a blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification at check-in. In most states, donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.
-- Robert Preidt
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