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The Blue & Gray Press | August 18, 2019

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Red Cross encourages students to donate blood, save lives

Red Cross encourages students to donate blood, save lives


According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood donation.For an hour all you need to forfeit is a little bit of blood and your time. There are so many people in the U.S. who are eligible to donate blood, but  few do so.

The American Red Cross goes to public schools and universities all around the U.S. to hopefully receive donations from healthy donors. The Red Cross started their blood donation campaign in 1941 for the U.S. military and today, they are the top blood donation service in the nation.

For many people, the lifesaving act of donating blood does not cross their mind. Most of the time, it is because they have never really thought about the need for blood donations, or they just do not like the idea of needles.

However, if more people knew that one blood donation could save the lives of up to three people, it is likely that more people would offer their services.

The donation process is incredibly safe and the Red Cross makes sure that every person they receive a donation from is healthy. Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood and for their blood to enter another person’s bloodstream.

The actual donation takes less than 15 minutes, but there is extra precaution taken, such as providing food and drinks, to make sure that the donor is recovered and nourished before they are released again.

Individuals who are at least  17 years of age or 16, with parental permission in some states, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health are eligible to donate blood. Because blood may be needed at any time by hospitals all around the nation, it must be collected regularly. No one expects to need blood, however, if it is not available when the need arises, the consequences can be fatal.

Although those who donate can tell you there is no better feeling than saving a life, about only five percent of eligible donors actually donate. That is why regular donors, those who commit to giving blood once a season, are so important in ensuring blood is available year-round when the need arises. The human body always has about 10 pints of blood in the body, and a single donation only takes one pint.

The next time that you receive a phone call from an unknown number who turns out to be a representative of the Red Cross, or even a local hospital, take their scripted speech into consideration.

Know that they are doing their part to ensure that another cancer patient gets the proper treatment, or so that a premature infant can grow up to go to college, and have the opportunity to continue their life thanks to your donation.