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Family Health

Give It If You Got It

Have you ever noticed that once you buy a red car, you start seeing red cars everywhere? Or did you notice that your extra-special garden plant could be a weed it is so common place? It’s called a frequency illusion, or scientifically, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Blood donations are like that.

Here’s why:

Unless you need a blood donation, you may never think about being a blood donor. After all, you’re fine. Your family is fine. Everyone you know is fine. And then one day, everything is not fine.

A car accident injury is a common reason for needing a blood transfusion, but so too are operations, cancer treatments and rarities like Ebola and other infections. Those in the Air Force who have fought in an overseas conflict understand the importance of blood transfusions.

Blood is often the key to survival. And blood donors are the key to the blood supply. Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only be donated.

Do you know?
  • Adults have about 10 pints of blood in their body. When you donate, you give just one pint.
  • Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion.
  • Five million patients in the U.S. need blood every year.
  • Less than 38 % of the population is eligible to give blood.
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  • Only 7% of the population has universal blood type 0 negative.
Platelets (critical for cancer patients) have a shelf life of only five days.
If you’re one of the lucky ones eligible to donate, consider giving it while you’ve got it to give. According to the American Red Cross, to donate blood you must:
  • Be in good general health and feeling well
  • Be at least 17-years-old in most states
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds.
A higher percentage of African Americans and Hispanics have blood type O, compared to Caucasians. Type O can be accepted by more recipients and for this reason there is an ongoing need for type O blood donors.

Once you become a blood donor, in keeping with the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, you’ll meet many others who donate blood on a regular basis. It’s a great club to belong to, and it doesn’t take much time to be a member. In fact, many donors find it relaxing. And your body makes new blood without skipping a (heart) beat.

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