Give blood and save a life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Every two seconds a patient requires blood, according to the American Red Cross.

That makes the chances pretty good that you or a loved one will

one day need blood.

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The flip side of that is that only five percent of Americans donate blood, so the need is constant.

On Wednesday, the Dallas County Sheriff’s office in conjunction with Life South held a blood drive at the Dallas County Courthouse. The sheriff’s office plans to hold this drive at least once a year.

Each of the pints of blood donated Wednesday has the potential to save three lives. Those needing blood may be the victims of car accidents; people with cancer; those receiving organ transplants; even an expectant mother needing emergency surgery.

It doesn’t take that much of your time – just a half an hour or so can make all the difference for someone else.

Most folks are eligible to give, but there are some guidelines: Donors must be at least 17 years of age, be “healthy,” weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last eight weeks (56 days).

“Healthy” means that you feel well and can perform normal activities.

If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, “healthy” also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control, according to the Red Cross.

There are some conditions that would make you ineligible, such as having receiving a tattoo in the last 12 months; being at risk for HIV/AIDS, or having traveled to certain countries outside the United States. You will be screened at the blood donor center to find out your eligibility.

For those who missed the drive but would like to give, you can still catch the blood bus the last Friday of each month at the Selma Wal-mart from 1 to 7 p.m.

Don’t miss an opportunity to give blood.

It’s probably the simplest, fastest thing you’ll ever do that will save a life.