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Make time to give the greatest gift this holiday: the gift of life

Southeastern Michigan

October 28, 2009
 
News Release
Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region
December 2009
Media Contact: Bridget Tuohey, 313-576-4184, cell 313-549-5414
 

Blood donations from volunteer donors are high on the wish list for hospital patients and their families this holiday season.
 
“We’re inviting community members to set aside a little bit of time to give the gift of life during the holidays,” Diane Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Every day, people need blood products for the care and treatment of serious diseases, trauma and accidents. That need doesn’t go away with the season. In fact, it sometimes increases.”
 
More than 39,000 pints of blood are needed daily in the United States. Donations of all blood types are needed, but type O is in high demand since it can be transfused to people with other blood types.
 
Donors who give through the Red Cross help supply blood to patients in about 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Those donations, Red Cross officials say, make a difference to patients within the immediate community, as well as to patients who travel outside the community for medical care.
 
The stability of the nation’s blood supply depends on volunteer donors who give consistently year-round. Although 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, a very small percent actually do.
 
“In the time it might take to wrap a few gifts or send out holidays cards, you could help give someone a second chance at life,” said Diane Ward. “That’s a powerful gift, and something worth making time for.”
 
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
 
About the American Red Cross
The Southeastern Michigan serves five counties, and needs to collect about 900 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 43 hospitals. In addition to supplying nearly half of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. 10/09APxxx