FOX 11's Blood Drive Telethon with the American Red Cross

Donor Thomas Brown finishes giving whole blood with American Red Cross staff member Alex White. Brown--who has been donating for about 4 years--states, "I always try to come to give in December. It's kind of my holiday tradition, a way to serve peopl

FOX 11 is proud to partner with the American Red Cross on a first-of-its-kind initiative!

On Wednesday, Jan. 15th, teamed up with the American Red Cross to replenish blood supplies in Southern California during National Blood Donor Month.

From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Red Cross volunteers and members of the Fox11 team were taking phone calls and setting up appointments for people to donate blood. When we started the telethon our goal was 500 appointments. By 5 p.m. we reached over 800 and astonishingly we ended the telethon with over a thousand appointments made. 

Winter is a critical time for blood supplies, and the American Red Cross is urging people to pick up the phone and make an appointment to donate blood and save a life.

Call FOX 11 at 310-584-2255 during the FOX 11 Blood Drive Telethon from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 15th to make an appointment and speak to some of your favorite TV personalities. The first 500 callers to make an appointment that day will get a special gift from FOX 11 and the American Red Cross.

FOX 11 entertainment report Amanda Salas discusses the importance of blood transfusions:

Learn about the importance of diverse blood donations: 

Answers to commonly asked questions: 

Who can donate blood?

In most states, donors must be age 17 or older. Some states allow donations by 16-year-olds with a signed parental consent form. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional eligibility criteria apply.

How does the blood donation process work?

Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average. The steps in the process are:


1. You will complete donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, phone number, and donor identification number (if you have one).
2. You will be asked to show a donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of ID.

Health History and Mini Physical

1. You will answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled.
2. You will have your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse checked.


1. We will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand–new, sterile needle for the blood draw. This feels like a quick pinch and is over in seconds.
2. You will have some time to relax while the bag is filling. (For a whole blood donation, it is about 8-10 minutes. If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma by apheresis the collection can take up to 2 hours.)
3. When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm. 


1. You will spend a few minutes enjoying refreshments to allow your body time to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume.
2. After 10-15 minutes you can then leave the donation site and continue with your normal daily activities.
3. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped to save lives.
Your gift of blood may help up to three people. Donated red blood cells do not last forever. They have a shelf-life of up to 42 days. A healthy donor may donate every 56 days.

photo: Red Cross

What should I do after donating blood? 

After you give blood, American Red Cross says you should take the following precautions: 

• Drink an extra four glasses (eight ounces each) of non-alcoholic liquids.
• Keep your bandage on and dry for the next five hours, and do not do heavy exercising or lifting.
• If the needle site starts to bleed, raise your arm straight up and press on the site until the bleeding stops.
• Because you could experience dizziness or loss of strength, use caution if you plan to do anything that could put you or others at risk of harm. For any hazardous occupation or hobby, follow applicable safety recommendations regarding your return to these activities following a blood donation.
• Eat healthy meals and consider adding iron-rich foods to your regular diet, or discuss taking an iron supplement with your health care provider, to replace the iron lost with blood donation.
• If you get a bruise:  Apply ice to the area intermittently for 10-15 minutes during the first 24 hours. Thereafter, apply warm, moist heat to the area intermittently for 10-15 minutes. A rainbow of colors may occur for about 10 days.
• If you get dizzy or lightheaded:  Stop what you are doing, lie down, and raise your feet until the feeling passes and you feel well enough to safely resume activities.
• And remember to enjoy the feeling of knowing you have helped save lives!

How long does a blood donation take?

The entire process takes about one hour and 15 minutes; the actual donation of a pint of whole blood unit takes eight to 10 minutes. However, the time varies slightly with each person depending on several factors including the donor’s health history and attendance at the blood drive.

How long will it take to replenish the pint of blood I donate?

The plasma from your donation is replaced within about 24 hours. Red cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement. That’s why at least eight weeks are required between whole blood donations.

What happens after my donation?

FOX 11's Rita Garcia shows us what happens after you donate blood. Watch the video below: 

What else can I do to help?

Whether or not you’re eligible to donate blood, please consider volunteering or hosting a blood drive through the Red Cross. You can also help ensure that the life-saving gift of blood and blood products will be available and as safe as possible whenever and wherever it is needed by making a financial donation to support the Red Cross’s blood services.

Click here to donate.