The American Red Cross helps people all across the Country. The Red Cross has named January National Blood Donor Month. Interested in giving blood? There are a few things you must know first. You should be in good general health, and feeling well at the time of donating. In most states, you must be over the age of 17 to donate, in some cases you may donate at the age of 16, but only with a parent present to consent. Your weight must also be over 110 lbs. There are different types of donations that may be made, blood, platelets, plasma, and power red. Whole blood may be donated every 56 days, Platelets may be donated every 7 days/ up to 24 times a year, Plasma may be donated every 28 days, up to 13 times per year, and Power Red every 112 days, up to 3 times per year.
Just because you were not eligible to give blood in the past, does not mean you cannot in the future! Common reasons people are deferred are low hemoglobin levels, if you have the cold/flu, or temporary medications you may be taking. If you’re planning to donate blood, be sure to hydrate! If possible, eat a diet consisting of iron-rich foods the week before your appointment. It feels great to donate blood, by donating once you could be saving more than one life (you’ll also receive free cookies and juice). For more information and blood drive locations in your area, visit the American Red Cross at https://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood.