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Make the decision to donate blood

By Staff | Feb 2, 2009

What is the most crucial decision you have made today? How to successfully to complete a school or work project? Maybe the best way to juggle the family budget? Perhaps what to do about a troubled teen or an elderly parent in declining health? All are unquestionably important decisions.

What if you had to decide which patients should receive the limited blood supplies in the hospital blood bank? When supplies are critically low, as in the case of types O negative and B negative blood following the holiday season, this possible life-or-death question may not be as far-fetched as you might think.

Type O negative blood is the universal blood type and can be transfused to any patient in an emergency. Yet just 7 percent of the population is type O negative – and they must receive that type if they need a transfusion.

Every two seconds, someone in our country needs a blood transfusion. And too many among us assume that adequate blood supplies will always be there when someone needs a transfusion. This can only happen with the community’s support.

Although eight out of 20 people may be eligible to donate blood, only one in 20 actually donates each year. Of those who donate, most give just once a year. Yet many can donate blood every 56 days.

We urge you to make the vitally important decision to help patients in need by donating blood.

For more information, call (800) GIVE-LIFE or visit


James E. Starr, CEO

American Red Cross

Blood Services,

Greater Alleghenies Region