OUR VIEW: Giving blood saves the lives of family and friends

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Everyone has heard the pleas for people to donate blood. They have heard over and over how donating blood saves lives. But has everyone actually stopped and thought about what would happen if people stopped donating? Would there be any blood left? What would people do when they or a family member of theirs was in desperate need for blood?

The facts are that in the United States, 4.5 million people would die each year without blood transfusions dependent on a steady inflow of blood units. Around 32,000 pints of blood are used in the United States each day and every three seconds someone needs blood. This could be you, your family or your friends.

Earlier this week, a blood drive was held in Demopolis. Area donors recounted the Sept. 11 tragedy as the reason they started donating blood again. While this tragedy was far from home, the tornado that caused havoc in November could have been a tragedy for the place these same donors call home. Luckily, no one was injured severely during the storm, but it is never to early too be prepared.

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One pint of donated blood, the average for an individual’s blood donation each visit, could save as many as three people’s lives. This is amazing when one considers that the average adult’s body contains 10 pints of blood. There is a need for more individuals to take the average 45 minutes out of their day it takes to donate blood.

And, donating blood can be beneficial to volunteers because it has been linked with stimulating the generation of red blood cells in the body and with lowering the risk of heart disease in men.

Next time you see that a blood drive will be held or a friend asks you to go donate blood, think of yourself, your own family and friends and remember how easily it could be one of them or yourself in need of blood.

Anyone in good health, above 17 years of age, weighing at least 110 pounds can donate blood every 56 days.

Donate blood and save lives.