Why should I donate?
There is no substitute for human blood; it cannot be manufactured in a lab. Blood transfusions MUST come from other people.
Give the gift of life!
- Blood makes up about 7 percent of your body's weight.
- Just one pint of blood can help save the lives of several people.
- Platelets help blood to clot and give those with leukemia and other cancers a chance to live.
- There is no substitute for human blood.
- Much of today's medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from healthy donors.
- Volunteers provide nearly all of the nation's blood supply for transfusion.
- Every three seconds someone needs blood.
- Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States.
- Shortages of all types of blood often occur during the summer and winter holidays.
- 37% of the population of the United States is eligible to donate, yet only 5 percent nationally do so. This drops to 3 percent in Southern California.
- If all blood donors gave at least twice a year, it would greatly strengthen the nation's blood supply.
- Anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years old, and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.
- Blood donation takes four steps: medical history, quick physical, donation and snacks.
- The actual blood donation takes 5 to 10 minutes. The entire process, from when you sign in to the time you leave, takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
- You cannot get AIDS or any other blood disease by donating blood.
- A heart surgery uses an average of six pints of red blood cells and six pints of platelets.
- The average liver transplant patient needs 40 pints of red blood cells, 30 pints of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate, and 25 pints of fresh frozen plasma.
- The average bone marrow transplant requires 120 pints of platelets and about 20 pints of red blood cells.
- If you began donating blood at the age of 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood.
- One out of every 10 patients entering a hospital needs blood.
If the patient's blood type is:
The donor's blood type must be:
|O Positive||O+, O-|
|O Negative (Universal Donor)||O-|
|A Positive||A+, A-, O+, O-|
|A Negative||A-, O-|
|B Positive||B+, B-, O+, O-|
|B Negative||B-, O-|
|AB Positive (Universal Recipient)||AB+, AB-, A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-|
|AB Negative||AB-, A-, B-, O-|
Iron Sources in Food
Iron is needed by your body to manufacture healthy red blood cells. Minimum daily requirements are:
- 10 mg./day for men and post menopausal women
- 18 mg./day for menstruating women
There are two types of iron in foods: non-heme and heme iron. Non-heme is found in plants whereas heme is found solely in animal sources.
Heme iron is more readily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron. Below is a list of foods highest in iron. The specified amounts are in milligrams.
Iron pills (Ferrous Sulfate) Take 1 tablet, 3 times per day, with meals, or as prescribed by your doctor. Taking iron will cause black bowel movements. MAY CAUSE CONSTIPATION. Check with your doctor before beginning any supplements.
Include citrus fruits and juices with your meals for more efficient absorption of the iron. Avoid dairy products at the time of dosing, as these affect the effectiveness of absorption. Also, cooking in cast iron cookware slightly increases your intake of iron.
- Include at least four iron-rich foods per day in your meal plan
- Include a food or beverage high in vitamin C at every meal to increase iron absorption
- Include a serving of meat, fish or poultry at lunch and dinner to increase iron absorption
- For high iron cereals, breads and pasta products, select those with labels that read whole grain, enriched, fortified or essential vitamins and minerals added
Major Food Groups
Significant Sources of Iron
- Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
- Dried Beans and Peas
- Dried Fruits
- Enriched Breads
- Iron-Fortified Cereal
- Lean Meats
- Wheat Germ
- Whole-Grain Breads
- If your doctor advises you to take an iron supplement, have it with a food or beverage high in vitamin C.
- Avoid drinking tea or coffee with meals. Substances in these beverages can decrease the absorption of iron.
- When possible, cook with iron pots and skillets to add iron to foods.
- Remember to include at least four iron-rich foods per day in your meal plan.
- Good sources of vitamin C to include with meals are:
- citrus fruits & juices
- kiwi fruit
- green pepper
- Brussel sprouts
Give the gift of life!
To find a blood drive near you, or set up an appointment, please call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
To host a blood drive, please visit the Red Cross website and complete the online contact form.