Donating Blood is key to National Preparedness Month

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Press release from the American Red Cross:

Donating Blood is Key to National Preparedness Month
American Red Cross urges donors to give for Labor Day

The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations urging Americans to understand what it means to be ready for emergencies by observing the Sixth Annual National Preparedness Month this September.

“There are several simple steps all of us can take to prepare for emergencies in our homes, businesses and communities,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “One of those is blood donation.”

The Red Cross recommends three simple actions for preparedness: get a kit, make a plan and be informed. Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also paramount to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient need. Another way to prepare could be to make blood donation part of your Labor Day plans.

“When you donate blood through the American Red Cross, you join a family of blood donors across the nation in a lifesaving cause,” said Whitman. “And being with family and friends can be a great way to celebrate any holiday.”

While donations from all blood types are needed, Red Cross officials say donations of type O blood are in high demand. Hospitals use type O negative blood in most emergency trauma cases when there is not enough time to determine the patient’s blood type. And while type O negative can be safely transfused to anyone, type O positive blood can be transfused to patients with positive blood types—or about 80 percent of the population.

To learn more about National Preparedness Month, visit or You can also find out how to be Red Cross Ready through a free on-line tutorial that takes about 20 minutes. Visit

Click here to see a list of upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in your area.

Give blood or platelets now through Labor Day you can enter to win a $500 Meijer gift card. A winner will be drawn each week!

How to Donate Blood
Individuals who are at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission in Indiana), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. Red Cross donor card or positive ID required. Call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or log on for more information.

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