For those of you who donate blood regularly, or who have donated even once - thank you! For those considering, or have never even thought about it, give it a thought this month - because it's National Blood Donor Month!
Why give blood?
On any given day in America, hospitals and trauma centers use almost 40,000 units of blood! The blood is used for accident and other trauma victims, for patients battling diseases and for those who are receiving organ transplants.
At certain times of the year, and during certain disasters (like Hurricane Katrina) more and more blood is needed. Shortages are often broadcast on local television stations, and national and local phone numbers are flashed on the screen. Please take a note of them and offer to donate.
There are several criteria to become a blood donor.
You must be at least 17 years old (16 in some states or with parental permission).
You must weigh at least 110 pounds.
Persons with HIV, sickle cell disease (not sickle cell trait), Hepatitis or a recent STD like chlamydia or gonorrhea are not eligible. Pregnant women are also not eligible. Recent blood or organ recipients themselves need to wait about a year. If you have an active infection, or the flu, you will also have to wait.
Most others, even if on medication, are eligible. Talk to personnel at the blood donor stations, and fill out the forms, and you'll be told if you are good to go. All blood donated is tested for communicative diseases.
You may just save a life!
And another positive outcome of blood donation - free juice and cookies after you donate. Now if that's not reason enough...
For more information on blood donation and to see if you are eligible, click here to the Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/donate/give/
To find a blood donor location near you, call 1.800.GIVE-LIFE or click here and punch in your zip code: https://www.givelife.org/index_flash.cfm?thisHB=01/10/2009%2006:19:21
Have you donated blood? Why? Why not? Have you received blood?
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