By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio. Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer.
2019 is already a week old and your New Year’s resolution may not be going as planned. Instead of feeling bad about another missed opportunity, the American Red Cross has a resolution that is not only easy to keep but will make you feel equally good: Resolve to save a life.
January is National Blood Donor Month. If you have never given blood before or it has been a while, it is the perfect time to become a blood donor.
In the United States, there is someone who needs blood every two seconds. Unfortunately, of the 38 percent of the population who is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually donate.
To make it easier to donate blood this month, the Red Cross is hosting over 350 blood drives across Northeast Ohio from today until the end of January, ensuring there is a blood drive close to you. To find a scheduled blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org to search by zip code and prepare for your donation.
If you cannot attend any of the scheduled blood drives, the Red Cross has several donation centers in Northeast Ohio. For those in the Greater Cleveland area interested in giving blood and donating platelets, the Red Cross has blood donation centers in Cleveland and Parma.
The Warzel Blood Donation Center is located at the Regional Headquarters on 3747 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday.
The Parma Donation Center is located on 5585 Pearl Avenue and is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Sunday
Here are some helpful facts as you prepare to take the next steps to donate today:
- The average person has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his or her body.
- There are four blood groups: A, B, AB and O.
- Red cells, which contain hemoglobin, carry oxygen throughout the blood and give blood its red color, are used to treat trauma or surgery patients.
- Platelets helps prevent massive blood loss by helping blood clot and is used to treat cancer patients, organ transplant patients and surgery patients.
- You can donate blood every 56 days and you can donate platelets up to 24 times per year.
- You must be at least 17 years old to donate. In Ohio, you can donate blood if you are 16 years old and have written parental consent.
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply
for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
- From beginning to end, the blood donation process takes about one hour and 15 minutes to donate blood and three hours to donate platelets.
- The Red Cross does not charge for the blood itself, but does recoup the many costs associated with the donation process.
- After you donate, you can enjoy juice and cookies in the refreshment area and think about the difference you’ve made!
Visit RedCrossBlood.org today to sign up to donate. This is a journey you can start this new year and resolve to continue every 56 days.