FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2010
Contact: HHS Press Office
Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on World Blood Donor Day
In recognition of World Blood Donor Day, please join me today in “Celebrating the Gift of Blood.” World Blood Donor Day allows us to recognize the vital importance of blood donation and celebrates those who give blood across the globe. I want to thank all of you who donate blood regularly and encourage everyone to help save lives by giving blood.
Regular blood donations are more critical than ever to meet our nation’s demand. Every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood. One in every seven patients in a hospital requires blood, and more than 40,000 units of blood are needed to treat Americans everyday.
While approximately 95 percent of Americans will either need blood during their lifetime or know someone who will, less than five percent currently donate. Annually, an estimated eight million people donate blood in this country. While we are grateful for these donors, so many more of us can donate blood to help save lives. Donating just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. If eligible donors give blood just twice a year, it would significantly help our nation generate an adequate blood supply.
Eligibility requirements vary by state, but generally one must be 16 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in basic good health. To find your local blood center and learn more about blood donation, please visit www.americasblood.org or www.redcrossblood.org call 1-888-USBLOOD. Please check with your local community blood bank to determine the exact requirements in your area.
If you are not eligible to donate, you can still support the cause by recruiting others to donate. Hosting regular blood drives and actively participating in other planned activities is a great way to get involved. Together, we can make a commitment to become regular blood donors, as well as encourage our families, friends, and communities to donate blood.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011