Save lives: Be a blood donor

February 16, 2017

Just about an hour of your day. That's how little time it takes to help change someone's life with a iStock-500536705 (1).jpgheroic and generous act--donating blood.

Our nation's blood supply is typically in high demand, so experts say your help is needed. In fact, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, including:

  • Car crash and burn survivors.
  • People having chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
  • Those with blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.
  • People undergoing surgery.
  • Organ transplant recipients.

 But despite the constant need, relatively few eligible donors actually give blood. Will you?

Being a donor is easy

Before you can give blood, there are a few requirements to help protect both donors and recipients.

In general, you must be healthy (you can't have an illness or fever, for instance) and at least 17 years old (16-year-olds can sometimes donate with parental consent). You'll answer a few questions about your health and travel history and have a mini-physical that includes a blood pressure, pulse and temperature check.

Next comes the blood draw itself. It often takes less than 10 minutes.

Afterward, you can relax with a refreshment before going about your day. You'll probably feel pretty awesome about what you just did. And why not? Your donation could help save up to three lives.

Sources: American Red Cross; U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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