Donate Blood

Every day thousands of Americans need, and receive, pints of blood - and the need for blood is growing because of medical advances and an aging population.  For example, a liver transplant, increasingly routine as more and more hepatitis C victims become sick with liver cancer, can use up to 100 pints per day.  Those inflicted with Sickle Cell Anemia require a transfusion every three to four weeks.

Donating a pint of blood can save up to three lives. When you give blood, it's separated into three components.

  1. Red blood cells are taken out for people with anemia or low blood counts due to blood loss.

  2. Platelets are transfused to those with low platlete counts, such as leukemia patients.

  3. Plasma is given to people with various clotting problems - those who've had transfusions, for example.

Most of the nation's blood supply comes from blood donated from other Americans.  About 48% of eligible Americans have never given blood.   Periodically donating a pint of our own blood is a small gift most of us can easily give to ensure an adequate supply.  There are few things that are so easy to do and yet which can have such a profound impact.  Blood, of course, is literally the "life blood" for those in need.

In order to give blood, you must be at least 17 years and weigh at least 110 pounds.  You can give blood every 2 months.  The actual drawing of blood takes about 10 minutes.  You can give blood at:

  1. for-profit blood banks,

  2. American Red Cross blood bank centers,

  3. many medical facilities, and

  4. America's Blood Centers (ABC) is the national network of non-profit, independent community blood centers that collect almost half (47%) of the U.S. blood supply. Together ABC members serve over 125 million people in 46 states at more than 450 blood donation sites. They also provide more diagnostic and therapeutic services than any other U.S. blood organization.

Consider giving blood with your child when they reach the age of 17 - it may help start a lifelong habit of donating.  Also giving blood on your birthday can make it even more special.  

Donate Blood

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