September 28, 2006

Fall Brings Change but Need for Blood Remains Constant

The days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping as autumn typically brings many changes. But the need for blood is ongoing Ė and at times critical. The American Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region works diligently every day to keep an adequate blood supply, especially in preparation for winter months when donations traditionally decline. To assist the Red Cross, please visit us at the First Baptist Church of Memphis on Tuesday, October 3, 2006 from 12:30 Ė 6:00 p.m.

In part, because of advances in life-saving medical techniques, which require more blood transfusions, the demand for blood continues to outpace supply. And that does not take into account a disaster or special needs of a family member or friend.

In the U.S. today, a blood transfusion is needed every two seconds. The need for blood is ongoing ó 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give the gift of life today and every 56 days to help meet the demand.

In Missouri, healthy individuals who are at least 16 years old with written parental consent and weigh 110 pounds or more are eligible to donate blood. In Illinois, 16 year olds can donate blood with a signed American Red Cross parental (or legal guardian) consent form. Federal regulations require whole blood donors to wait 56 days between donations. Platelet donors can donate as many as 24 times a year.

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