Donating Blood

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Every year, more than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions in the United States and Canada. Someone needs blood on an average of every 2 seconds. That blood is provided by donors. Dr. Edward Hill discusses blood donation in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

There are a few requirements for blood donors and most individuals are eligible to donate as often as every 8 weeks. To donate, you must:

Be at least 16 or 17 years of age depending on state laws

Weigh at least 110 pounds, and

Be in good health

Individuals may be temporarily or permanently deferred from donating blood. They include those with the following conditions:

Low blood cell count

During pregnancy and until 6 weeks after giving birth

Having received a tattoo or any body piercing within the past year

Recent travel to certain areas of the world

One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives. Sadly, less than 10 percent of eligible individuals donate annually. As a result, the blood supply nationwide often runs short, especially around holidays and during summer months.

Donating blood is safe and relatively painless. The entire process takes about 1 hour. You cannot get HIV, hepatitis, or other diseases from donating blood.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.