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Save A Life – Give Blood

Blood is in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put the nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.

AABB, an international association that represents individuals and institutions involved in activities related to transfusions and cellular therapies, in conjunction with America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross, is celebrating National Blood Donor Month 2010 to help encourage donors to give or pledge to give blood.

Every day in the United States, about 39,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities. This blood is needed for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients and to help save the lives of victims involved in accidents. The goal of National Blood Donor Month is to make sure that blood is available to those who need it whenever and wherever they need it. Blood donation saves lives.

Here’s what you need to know about donating blood:

  • If you are good health and meet the age, weight and other donor requirements, you can donate blood.
  • Blood donation is a safe process. Sterilized needles are used only once for each donor and then properly disposed of.
  • Blood donation typically takes less than 10 to 12 minutes. The entire process from arrival through donation should take about an hour.
  • Healthy donors can donate blood every 56 days.
  • The average adult has approximately 10 to 12 pints of blood in his or her body.

Get the Facts about Blood Donation

Know these 10 facts before you donate:

  • Approximately 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life-saving blood transfusions.
  • Every three seconds someone needs blood.
  • One out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood.
  • One pint of donated blood can help save as many as three lives.
  • Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body’s total weight.
  • There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. AB is the universal recipient and O negative is the universal donor.
  • Blood centers often run short of type O and type B blood.
  • If all blood donors gave two to four times each year, it would help prevent blood shortages.
  • About three gallons of blood can support the entire nation’s blood needs for one minute.
  • Blood donation only takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.