By Senator Patty Ritchie
Do you have what it takes to be a hero?
Each and every day, people across our country are saving lives and becoming heroes by doing one simple thing, donating blood.
Since 1970, January has marked National Blood Donor Month, a time when we thank those who make it a priority to regularly give blood and help raise awareness of the critical need to do so.
During the winter months, blood is traditionally in short supply due to things like illness, busy holiday travel schedules and inclement weather.
If you’re considering donating blood, keep in mind the following facts:
Every two seconds, someone in our country is in need of blood;
In order to keep up with demand, the Red Cross has to collect roughly 14,000 pints of blood per day;
One pint of blood can save up to three lives;
While it’s estimated that 38 percent of people in the U.S. can donate blood, less than 10 percent actually do so;
The average adult has 10 pints of blood in his or her body and only one pint is given during a donation;
Type O negative blood is always in great demand, and almost always in short supply because it can be transfused to patients of all blood types; and
Approximately one in every seven people entering the hospital is in need to blood.
These are just a few facts that illustrate how critically important it is to donate blood, if you’re able to do so.
The process of donating blood takes only minutes, but has a huge impact.
As National Blood Donor Month continues, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to roll up your sleeves, make a donation and save a life.
For more information on upcoming blood drives in your area, visit the American Red Cross’s website www.redcross.org