Did you know that donating blood one time has the potential to save as many as three lives? Did you also know that every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood? Donated blood is essential to keep many people alive, but unfortunately The American Red Cross has received fewer donations than needed to meet demand over the holiday season and winter months. As a result, our region has reached a critical need for blood and platelet donors with an emphasis on types O, AB, B negative and A negative.
Although 38 percent of the American population is able to donate blood, only 10 percent of the population actually donates. Many people are afraid of donating blood or simply do not want to. However, most people who donate say that they feel satisfied after donating. In fact, it’s a very simple process - registration, medical history, mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
It takes about an hour and 15 minutes from start to finish and drawing blood only takes roughly 10 to 12 minutes. A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days and platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year, according to the American Red Cross. All of the blood is tested before distribution to area hospitals like Hillcrest Medical Center.
The American Red Cross has health requirements for donating blood. Donors must be in good health and infection-free, at least 17 years old in most states and weigh at least 110 pounds. There are additional requirements that may restrict interested donors from donating blood. For more information, please visit the American Red Cross website.
To find your local American Red Cross chapter, please click here.