Red Cross, NFL tackle blood shortages

The American Red Cross is partnering with the National Football League this month to encourage football fans to donate blood, as the Red Cross faces a critical shortage. 

January is national Blood Donor Month, and the Red Cross is encouraging donations by offering a chance for donors to win tickets to Super Bowl LIV. Anyone who donates blood or platelets between Jan. 1 and Jan. 19 is automatically entered for a chance to win. 

The Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood, the most commonly transfused blood type. 

"The winter is historically a challenging time to collect blood, with the holidays, winter weather and flu—and unfortunately this year is no different,” Chris Hrouda, president of American Red Cross Biomedical Services, said in a news release.

Requirements to donate include being at least 17 years old in most states (in some, 16 years with parental consent), weighing at least 110 pounds and being in good general health. 

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