About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. This results in more than 4.5 patients needing blood each year between the U.S. and Canada. It takes one pint of blood to save 3 lives, and less than 10% of eligible donors give annually. Any healthy adult, at least 17 years of age weighing more than 110 pounds may donate up to a pint of blood every two months. Type O blood is especially important, as much of today’s medical care depends on a steady stream of donated blood. Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children needing heart surgery require blood and platelets of all types. 17% of non-donors cite “never thought about it” as they main reason for not giving, while 15% say they’re too busy. If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
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