Red Cross location turns away blood donor because of his weight - KMOV.com

Red Cross location turns away blood donor because of his weight

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By Ruella Rouf By Ruella Rouf

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Too heavy to donate blood? That's what the Red Cross told one St. Louis man.

Scott Long has donated blood to the Red Cross dozens of times over the last few years. He says it’s his way of giving back.

“My blood is a rather rare type, I have A negative blood,” explained Long. 

At the end of August, Long tried to donate.

“I called them up first of all because I knew weight might be an issue with them and I asked them specifically, could I get a location where they would accept me,” Long said.

Long weighs just under 400 pounds and says that's where his attempt at a good deed hit a snag. He showed up to the Chesterfield location like they told him to.

“They asked me for my weight and I told them I’m 398. They said we can’t take you,” Long said.

The Red Cross says the chairs they use only support up to 350 pounds. But the staff at the Chesterfield location told Long the St. Charles location had a chair that could accommodate him.

“St. Charles is way out of my way,” said Long.

News4 reached out to the Red Cross for answers, including why Long couldn’t sit on a different chair. They would not give an on camera interview, but sent us the following statement.

“For safety reasons, donor beds have weight restrictions. Our staff receives extensive training on all safety guidelines regarding blood donations and must adhere to these protocols. Those unable to donate blood can still support the Red Cross by volunteering or sponsoring a blood drive,” said Red Cross spokesperson Daphne Mathew.

But Long wants to know if they need blood so bad, why they can’t find a way to accommodate him at every location.

“They don't need it that bad if [they’re] discriminating against someone who is perfectly healthy, just a little larger than the normal person,” said Long.

We also asked why if some facilities can accommodate a larger person, why can’t they all? The spokesperson responded saying the Red Cross is working to add beds to their facilities that accommodate up to 500 pounds.

“This is an expensive process and can only be done over time,” Mathew said.

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