January set aside to honor blood donors
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:37 pm
By: Lara Endreszl
Start off the new year right, by donating blood to the Red Cross or your local blood bank in honor of National Blood Donor Month.
The process only takes an hour of your time, and results in lifesaving platelets or pints of blood for those in need. Hundreds of thousands of healthy people with good, visible veins unlike mine donate blood every year. All blood types are needed and with more traffic accidents happening during the winter season, clean backup blood is sparse this time of year. The first month of the year has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month since 1970.
According to the American Association of Blood Banks, now known as AABB, in the United States every day, “approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.”
In order to donate blood, you have to meet certain donor requirements. The most important is that you must be at least 17 years old in order to give blood voluntarily, although some states do consent at 16 with written parental consent. You must be at least 110 pounds, you should be healthy meaning without infection, not on antibiotics, without a fever, and generally feeling well on day of donation. You may only donate if you have not given blood within 8 weeks.
The rest of the guidelines are available here from the American Red Cross. wcp 1/11/11