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National Blood Donor Month

Thousands of people donate blood in our area each year, and their generous gift has saved countless lives. But, the need for blood is constant, so this winter the American Red Cross is encouraging blood and patient platelet donors to challenge their family, friends and colleagues by saying ëI give blood: Will you?í

During the winter holiday season, the blood supply often suffers tremendously. When this collection shortfall is paired with the increased demand also common during a season of travel, a potentially dangerous situation can develop as demand for blood and blood products become greater than the supply. The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides life-saving blood to more than 103 hospitals, including Rowan Regional Medical Center, and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders another illnesses receive life-saving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source. Call the Red Cross for other blood drives in the Rowan County area, the number is 704-633-3854.

Facts about blood

Did you know?
Every day in the United States, blood is needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities to care for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident and trauma victims.
Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
More than 38,000 blood donations are needed each day.
Blood can be separated into at least three components: Red Blood Cells, Plasma, Platelets.
Just one blood donation can help save up to three lives.
Sixty percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give, but only 5 percent of those eligible actually do.
In an emergency, anyone can receive type O negative red blood cells, and type AB individuals can receive red blood cells of any ABO group. Therefore, people with type O negative blood are known as ěuniversal donors.î

Our blood supply…
Blood and blood products are perishable. Donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
During an emergency, blood must be on the shelf ready for transfusion in order to save lives.

Donating blood is easy!
To donate blood, one must be healthy, and meet age, weight and other donor requirements.
Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and is then discarded.
The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time one arrives to the time the donor leaves, takes about an hour.
A healthy donor may donate blood every 56 days.
The average adult has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his/her body. Approximately one pint is given during a donation.

To learn more about blood donation, visit www.aabb.org

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