Have a heart. Donate blood.

February 1, 2012


Absence makes the heart grow fonder, except when you’re talking about blood donors.

Every day, hospital patients depend on steady and consistent blood donations from volunteer donors for the blood they may need for ongoing and emergency medical care. And with February being American Heart Month, it’s a great time to put your heart into a worthwhile cause: helping to build the nation’s blood supply through your American Red Cross.

“Your blood donation helps in so many ways,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “By rolling up your sleeve, you’ll help strengthen the blood supply during the cold, wintry months. And you’ll draw attention to heart health, too.”

Since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. And while February is just one of 12 months, matters of the heart are worthy of attention year-round.

Heart disease is one of the top health concerns among most ethnic groups in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With increased awareness, many Americans are taking steps to prevent and control factors that put them at greater risk for heart disease, including making simple lifestyle changes and taking prescribed medications.

People who take medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol aren’t necessarily deferred from donating blood. And donors who have experienced angina, heart attacks, or heart surgeries, may also be eligible to give blood as long as they have been approved by their health care provider, are symptom-free, and have not had a heart-related incident in six months.

“We’re hoping more people, young and old alike, have a heart and come give blood this February,” said Ward. “Some patients with heart disease often need blood for important surgeries, so if you’re healthy and can give, your donation can make a difference.” 

Media Contacts: Martha Kurtz, 313-494-2745; Bridget Tuohey, 313-576-4184