Why You Should Give Blood

CBN.com - Have you always wanted to be a hero but also shy away from the public recognition that tends to go along with heroics? Good news! Here is your opportunity to serve as a real hero yet remain anonymous and in the background.

How? Become a blood donor.

January is National Volunteer Blood Donor month, and your donation of blood could save someone’s life.

Consider these facts:

  • Roughly 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States. That translates to about three gallons every minute.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion requires 3.4 pints –- that’s four donors.
  • The different parts of one pint of donated blood can help the lives of three people.
  • Someone suffering from serious injuries sustained in an automobile accident can require 50 pints (units) of blood or more.
  • Seriously burned patients may need 20 units or more.

Unfortunately, the majority of people eligible to donate blood do not. The American Red Cross reports that while 60 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, only five percent do so regularly.

Lack of awareness is a key reason accounting for the low turnout, although for many individuals, donating blood is on their “good intention” list.

Are you eligible to be a donor? Basic criteria include the following:

  • You must be at least 17 years of age (16 in California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, and Washington).
  • There is no upper age limit.
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • You must wait eight weeks between donation periods.
  • You must be in good health, meaning that you feel well and can perform normal activities.
  • Additional screening criteria are reviewed at the time of donation, but if you meet the above qualifications, you are well on your way to being a blood donor.

Each year, many people take time out to give blood, the gift of life. Here is how you can get started:

  • Call the local chapter of the American Red Cross to learn about donation sites and dates in your community. Many areas have ongoing donations within the community scheduled for a specific place, day, and time.
  • You may also learn more about blood donation opportunities by visiting www.givelife.org or by calling the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

We all expect that blood will be available to us if we need it, yet many eligible to donate do not do so. Sooner or later many of us will face a time of vulnerability and will need blood, often during an emergency, so why not respond proactively and donate now?

What better time than this month, January, National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, to resolve to make a difference in someone else’s life –- and make yourself a hero!

Copyright © 2007 Kathy Pride. Used by permission.

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