Be the Giving Type: Donate Blood

October 19, 2010


News Release      

Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region

Media Contacts: Martha Roemer Kurtz, 313-494-2745                                          

                              Bridget Tuohey, 313-576-4184                                                 

 While some people believe personality is driven by blood type, one truth holds: when you donate blood through the American Red Cross, you become the giving type.

 “Coming to donate blood shows you’re someone who cares about others,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Whether you know your blood type or not, your support of blood donation truly makes a difference to someone in need.”

Blood type, like eye or hair color, is an inherited trait. And most people will readily recognize the most widely identified blood groups: A, B, O and AB. The prevalence of blood groups varies among ethnic groups. For instance, about 60 percent of the Latino population is group O versus 45 percent of the general population. Nearly 20 percent of African Americans have group B blood, compared to 11 percent of Caucasians.

“The Red Cross is always looking to increase the number of blood donors in diverse communities,” said Ward. “It’s part of our mission to ensure that blood is there for anyone who needs it.”

Part of building an adequate blood supply rests in identifying and recruiting donors with rare blood types. While most people have one of the four major blood types, a very small percent of people have one of 600 known rare blood types.

The Red Cross offers support to hospitals across the country in finding donors with unique blood types through its collaboration with AABB on the American Rare Donor Program. Donors with rare blood types are asked to join a registry, and to roll up their sleeves when the need for a rare blood type occurs.

“We want to be there for everyone, donor and patient alike,” said Ward. “That’s what sets us apart and makes us the American Red Cross.”

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 Blood Services Region 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. 09/10AP01007