New Year's Resolution #1: Donate Blood This Year

January 11, 2010
The American Red Cross is calling upon the local community to please donate blood in January in recognition of National Blood Donor Month in order to help save lives.
Approximately every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood.  Four million Americans would die each year without it, and the only place to get this precious resource is from volunteer blood donors. Every day in the U.S., approximately 39,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.
Only about 8 percent of the eligible population donates blood each year. If you’ve never donated before you can increase that percentage by resolving this year to donate blood. The process only takes an hour and results in lifesaving platelets or pints of blood for those in need.
Julia Wulf, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Blood Region, says, “This year, you can make a difference. All it takes is your willingness to help someone in need and a pint of your blood. To avert critical blood shortages this winter, we need citizens to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, which means it constantly needs to be replenished. Donors can give blood every 56 days, or six times a year. All blood types are needed.”
The American Red Cross conducts mobile blood drives somewhere in Idaho, Montana and Utah every day except Sundays and holidays. These mobile drives are held at shopping malls, grocery store parking lots, schools, churchs, any place where there are enough people to justify a drive. They are conducted in addition to donation centers located in Layton, Salt Lake, Orem and St George, Utah; Boise, Idaho Falls, Lewiston and Pocatello, Idaho; Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula, Montana. 

Donor eligibility involves minimum age, weight and health requirements and presentation of a donor card or positive ID upon donation.  Individuals unable to donate blood can still make a contribution by organizing a Red Cross blood drive or assisting as a volunteer. Call 1-800-RED CROSS for more information or find the blood drive nearest you.