News release from the American Red Cross:
This April, Be a Part of the Change Happening Around You
(April 8, 2013) – As the snow melts and spring rains bring fresh flowers, green grass, and warmer weather, the American Red Cross encourages area residents to be a part of change, too.
Spring is about rejuvenation and research studies show that the increase in temperature is a major mood booster. “The need for blood remains constant, especially as the weather becomes warmer,” said Tracy Duncan Fox, spokesperson for the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “A single blood donation can save more than one life, so as the season changes, allow some change within yourself by getting into the habit of donating blood.”
While spring lasts for a few months, donating blood only takes a fraction of that time; the donation process only takes about one hour. A healthy donor can donate red blood cells every 56 days and platelets can be given every 7 days, but no more than 24 times in one year. According to Fox, each and every day, the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region needs to have at least 500 blood donors to help meet the need of patients in the hospitals we serve.
“Strong donor turnout in April and May can give us good momentum into summer. And with only eight percent of eligible individuals donating blood each year, there’s great potential for solid collections during spring,” commented Fox. Approximately 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood. But only eight percent of those eligible – or three percent of the general population – donates blood each year.
Every day, patients across the U.S. need an average of 44,000 units of red blood cells. That’s about 16-million donations transfused to 5 million patients each year.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcross.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org.