As the snow has melted 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 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 actual donation process only takes about 8 -12 minutes. 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 weekday, the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region needs to have at least 500 blood and platelets 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.
The next donation opportunity is on Thursday, May 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Montpelier High School in Rooms E-100 and E-104, located at 1015 E. Brown Road in Montpelier.
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment for donation or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.