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Our View: Saving a life is just a blood donation away

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Rocky Mount Telegram

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January and July traditionally are months when the American Red Cross puts out urgent requests for blood. Cold weather, holidays and summer vacations often relegate blood donations to a back burner among folks who usually don’t mind rolling up a sleeve and giving.

But this year, the need is particularly critical. Bitter cold and snow across much of the country have forced the cancellation of more than 150 blood drives. The Red Cross estimates it has missed collecting more than 5,500 donations of blood and plasma it normally counts on at this time of year.

Donating blood easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. The impact it has is profound. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

We encourage people to make a donation this month, and to continue donating throughout the year and coming years as well.

A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, according to the Red Cross.

An estimated 38 percent of the nation’s population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 10 percent of the population actually does each year, the Red Cross says.

Blood cannot be manufactured, so the blood supply is dependent upon the generosity of donors. Blood is perishable, and the need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, the Red Cross, says.

What better way to start the New Year than by doing something that will help others?

The American Red Cross has a number of blood drives scheduled in the Twin Counties during the coming weeks.

For more information, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.

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