Spring is a great time to be a blood donor

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Get rooted in the Red Cross this spring. Donate blood and become part of its ever growing family tree; join about 3.3 million blood donors nationwide in a lifesaving cause.

“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood,” Tim Ryerson, CEO of the River Valley Blood Services Region said. The Red Cross must collect enough blood donations every day to meet the needs of cancer patients, trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies with complications, sickle cell disease patients and others.

Donors may give whole blood up to six times per year, or every 56 days, or a double red cell donation procedure every 112 days, or up to three times per year. According to Ryerson, each day the River Valley Blood Services Region needs to have nearly 400 blood donors to help meet the needs of patients in 68 counties.

On average, the American Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

“Strong donor turnout in April and May can give us good momentum into the hectic summer season. And with only eight percent of eligible individuals donating blood each year, there’s great potential for solid collections during spring,” Ryerson said.

Approximately 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood. But only eight percent of those eligible – or three percent of the general population – donates blood each year.

Upcoming donation opportunities:

May 5, 2 to 6 p.m. at the Warrior Activity Center, 297 W. Broadway, Eminence

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in Kentucky and Indiana), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.